Youssoufa's Procedure on
"Masaqui. Masaqui." It's a name Youssoufa hears over and over again, from both children and adults alike. It follows him around like an shadow companion. Always present and never welcome. In his language, masaqui essentially means "the boy who can'… Read more
"Masaqui. Masaqui." It's a name Youssoufa hears over and over again, from both children and adults alike. It follows him around like an shadow companion. Always present and never welcome. In his language, masaqui essentially means "the boy who can't use his hand" and carries intense connotations of worthlessness and being a burden on one's family. When Youssoufa was just three years old, he was helping his mom cook in their outdoor kitchen when he tripped and fell, hand first, into a boiling pot of beans they were preparing. The water splashed, burning him in many places, but the worst of all the burns, as you might imagine, was his hand. With no hospital in or near their village, Youssoufa's family treated him with a traditional salve made from a local tree. In time, his burns did heal, all except his hand, the fingers of which began to contract into a clawlike position. His family tried to manually straighten his fingers, but with no success. They even made the long journey to the nearest city in order to visit the local hospital, to no avail. By the grace of God, several guests arrived in Youssoufa's village earlier this year from a neighboring village. They were sharing the news about us here at CURE Niger. We had hosted an outreach clinic in their village and while Youssoufa's family hadn't been able to make it, the flyers were enough for them to realize that healing for Youssoufa was indeed possible. Youssoufa has now made the journey to our hospital where he will get the surgery he needs to heal his hand and finally be free of the masaqui shadow!
Youssoufa had his follow up appointment today. The doctors took a close look at everything and said he can go home. Our little guy is all healed! Our physical therapist has given Youssoufa a few exercises to do at home which will continue to increase his fexibility. Youssoufa has come so far and we're so proud of all the work he's put in! To put a cherry on the cake, we got to read Youssoufa a bunch of your get well messages after his doctor's appointment. They only served to make his smile even bigger. Thank you for your continued love and prayer for this man here!
Our Storyteller, Joel, was pretending to be a monster today as he played with the kids in the guest house. Even though Youssoufa and Joel are good friends, Youssoufa forgot it was a game right as he was about to get caught and almost started crying! Joel had to remind him this was a game. In other news, this morning Youssoufa went in for physical therapy and said, "It hurt but I am ready to go home". He is almost done and should be finished soon if everything goes as planned!
Today is the start of Youssoufa's next step in his healing process! He began his physical therapy, but the joy of his progress was short lived as he soon learned that physical therapy is just as tough as his bandage changes were. If you could be praying for continued strength and perseverance for our little guy, that would be amazing!
"I don't cry. I'm strong. But that girl over there - (pointing to one of his friends) - she is the one who cries!" Youssoufa insists, but we know he's telling tales. Even when we got in the bandage change room with him, he was insistent "Look! I'm not crying!" Despite all this talk, there were definitely a few tears shed during Youssoufa's bandage change today. The good news though is that this was his last bandage change! Youssoufa is all healed up now and will start physical therapy soon to get his new, straight fingers working the way they should!
"I can see you!" Youssoufa laughed as he spotted us! We spent some time playing with Youssoufa on the playground after he had another bandage change this morning. His hand is coming along nicely. The swelling has gone down and he's been diligent with his appointments so he is nice and infection free! Please be praying that his progress continues this way.
Our man had the weekend to heal up from his surgery and is doing great! He claims there is no pain and the doctors say he's doing well. So well in fact that they said he can go home as long as he keeps coming back for his regular bandage changes and wound cleanings. Please be praying with us as he does go home that he will both heal quickly and that the conversations about Jesus we've been able to have with him and his family might take ahold.
Youssoufa's surgery is finished! It was a relatively fast and straight forward surgery. The doctors were successful in releasing his fingers and then used a skin graft from his stomach to cover the newly exposed parts of his fingers. He's in the ward resting up now and would sure appreciate your prayers for a fast healing!
We were chatting with Youssoufa this morning and we asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. All he would respond was "I want my hand to be better." We kept asking and he kept repeating the same thing. Well no matter, we're excited to help him achieve getting his hand better and then we hope to dream with him a little about what comes next!
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