Rakaya's Procedure on
"Leave us. You can't play with us. You only have one hand!" is the refrain that greets Rakaya every time she tries to join in the neighborhood games, sending her away in tears. Rakaya wasn't always like this, but was badly burned when she was still… Read more
"Leave us. You can't play with us. You only have one hand!" is the refrain that greets Rakaya every time she tries to join in the neighborhood games, sending her away in tears. Rakaya wasn't always like this, but was badly burned when she was still a baby. Rakaya's mother Rahamadou had been boiling some Nigerien treats to sell at the market. She strained the treats and threw the still boiling water outside. As Rahamadou turned around to finish packing her treats, Rakaya crawled out the door and went to play in what she thought was fun looking mud. The burns on Rakaya's hands were instantaneous and bad. Her family rushed her to the nearest hospital where she was treated, but Rakaya's hand ended up healing with a strap of melted skin trapping her thumb to the palm of her hand. This single flap of skin prevents Rakaya from fully opening or even effectively using her hand. Even more crushing to this young woman is how it ostracizes her from her community. She is labeled as disabled and outcast. For years now, this designation has wrecked havoc on her spirit. "She cries everyday and constantly asks me if we can get her hand fixed." Rahamadou tells us, a sadness in her voice. Rakaya's family has searched far and wide for some kind of treatment for Rakaya with no results. It wasn't until Rahamadou began to hear rumors in their village about a local pastor who sends disabled kids away and they come back healed, that her hope began to rekindle. Not being a Christian herself, Rahamadou took a step of faith and called this pastor. He ended up visiting their home to meet Rakaya and celebrating with them as he told them about us here at CURE Niger and how we can free Rakaya's hand! We praise God for bringing Rakaya to us and bringing this partner pastor of ours into the life of not only Rakaya, but also her entire family!
Rakaya had a good restful weekend and has been discharged! Since she lives pretty far away, she'll be staying in our patient guest as she starts her bandage chance and wound cleaning routine. It's not the most fun routine, but it's important in order to make sure her new hand doesn't get infected! Please be praying for her as she starts this next phase with us.
Rakaya has had her surgery and it was a smashing success! Dr. Issa was able to release the contracture limiting the movement of her thumb. With her thumb fully extended, Rakaya ended up not having enough skin to cover all the exposed muscles so a skin graft was taken from her forearm and placed on her palm. She is all stitched up, bandaged up, and resting up in the ward now!
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