Ousama's Procedure on
“Everyone makes fun of him, even his half brothers,” Alia, Oussama’s mother tells us. “He can never respond because, if he does, they just say ‘get out of my face you cripple.’ They don’t even like to work in the fields with him becau… Read more
“Everyone makes fun of him, even his half brothers,” Alia, Oussama’s mother tells us. “He can never respond because, if he does, they just say ‘get out of my face you cripple.’ They don’t even like to work in the fields with him because they say the cripple slows them down.” Alia has had many strict conversations with the step brothers, but they are backed up in their treatment of Oussama by the conventions of society and since they are Alia’s co-wive’s children, there is not much she can do. Oussama is called a cripple and ostracized from much of society simply because he has a burned and disfigured hand. When he was just one year old, he had playfully grabbed a red hot piece of charcoal as it rolled out of his family’s cooking fire. The burn was instantaneous and bad. His family rushed him to the nearest hospital, but there was little that could be done for him. As Oussama has grown, his disability has compounded. He can’t help out with many of the household tasks or really do anything that requires two hands - a large hurdle for a young man who dreams of becoming a house builder one day. Thankfully, Oussama’s uncle heard about us here at CURE Niger and immediately sent word to his sister, Alia, that they should make the long journey to us. Now that Oussama is with us, our doctors will operate on his hand, straighten his fingers, restore his function, all the while opening up his future and removing the stigmas that have overshadowed his life for far too long!
After all Oussama's progress last week, the doctors have decided there's no reason he can't continue healing while he's at home! Our physical therapists have given him some exercises to keep improving his finger strength and flexibility so he is good to go! Oussama is excited to go home, but says he'll miss the friends he's made here - like Moctar who is being creepy in the background of this photo.
Hooray! Ousama can move his fingers by himself! All that physical therapy is paying off. Today in therapy he was given the task of locking and unlocking different types of locks on a puzzle board and he did every single one of them. He still cannot carry or hold heavy things with his fingers but he can do way more than before. Pray for continued progress as he faithfully does his therapy!
Today Oussama felt as if he was at home! A few families put some money together and cooked a special breakfast for themselves. They had one of Niger's most common foods, cooked beans. It was accompanied by a type of bean cake made from grounded beans. It is good to see he has things that remind him of home. He also went to therapy today! It was painful during the process and he did cry a bit, but after, he said it was worth because his hand is getting better. Please pray that Oussama would persevere and continue to get stronger!
Keeping all his young energy bottled up for the past few weeks, it was good to see Oussama finally feel free and play his soul out! Not having mates around can be hard, especially in an environment your not used to. It is good to see him enjoy himself and to make some friends here!
Ema (on our spiritual staff) received an audio get well message for the kids from a volunteer who had spent some time with us over the summer. Oussama was very excited and tried to talk back to her not knowing that it was just a recording. Ema made sure to give Oussama the opportunity to send his own recording back!
"When I get in there, they will take off my bandage and start getting me ready for my next operation!" Oussama said with excitement and enthusiasm as he waited for his bandage change this morning. He was so confident that he was completely healed and finally done with his bandage changes! His happy smile from turned into a sad face as the nurses told him he still needs a few more rounds of bandages before he is completely finished. Please join us in prayer that his healing continues on track and God give this little guy patience!
Oussama had a bandage change with a twist today! Along with his regular wound cleaning, he had a cast put on. His surgical site is finally at the point where it doesn't need the almost daily attention it has been getting. The cast will essentially act like a splint and hold his hand out straight, making sure it doesn't heal and bend his wrist down!
The after-care part of Oussama's healing process starts today and he is PUMPED! That door he's standing in front of, "Salle de Pansements", is the bandage change room where he'll go on a regular basis to both have his bandages changed and his surgical site cleaned. Both are important to ensure that Oussama heals up properly and infection free!
Oussama is feeling miles better today, so much so that he got himself discharged! But not before he got a visit from Mantou and our spiritual team. Mantou played with him a little and then had a good time of conversation and prayer with Oussama's mother. Next week Oussama will start his bandage change routine which will keep his hand clean and healing well!
Oussama's surgery was a success! The doctor was able to successfully release Oussama's contracted fingers over the course of the relatively short surgery. Oussama is resting in the ward now and we're all praying for a quick and uncomplicated recovery!
Even though Oussama gets made fun of more than his fair share, we're glad to see he hasn't lost his ability to laugh! We're super pumped to have this little man here with us this week and can't wait to get these fingers straightened out!
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