Abdou Sofiane's Procedure on
Abdou Sofiane's Story
"I am so happy my son is getting surgery'' Saa, Abdou Sofiane's mother. Abdou Sofiane or Sofiane as his friends call him is very energetic, and he loves to swing at our playground at CURE Niger. He was born with a flap of skin holding his middle fi… Read more
"I am so happy my son is getting surgery'' Saa, Abdou Sofiane's mother. Abdou Sofiane or Sofiane as his friends call him is very energetic, and he loves to swing at our playground at CURE Niger. He was born with a flap of skin holding his middle finger on his left hand down in a bent position. He previously had a cleft lip and was treated here at CURE Niger, so Saa knew exactly where to bring him for treatment. Sofiane can do most things with his hand except holding heavy objects. He needs the support of his other hand. When we asked Sofiane what he wanted to become after he grows up, he told us he wanted to become a teacher. We are excited that Sofiane is here with us at CURE Niger, when he heals completely he will go back to school and continue on his path to becoming a teacher.
"When I get home, I'm going to dance," said Sofiane. "I'm going to dance because I'm healed!" He told us this right before he hopped in the CURE van with his mom, his baby brother Seyfoulaye, and about ten other patients and caregivers finally able to go home. Even though COVID-19 travel restrictions are still in place, it was clear our patients needed to go home - some hadn't seen their families since January, and almost everyone was missing their loved ones. So, after lots of governmental signatures, stamps, permissions and arrangements, Sofiane and so many others are finally going home!
It's mango season ... almost. Sofiane and the other longterm patients here looooooove green mangos - they're tangy, sour, and (fun fact) full of vitamin C - whenever Sofiane gets a chance he climbs the trees in our courtyard to grab a few (notice the one in his pocket!). He's fully recovered from surgery and anxious to get home - pray that the COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted soon so he, his brother and his mom can see their family again.
Carrying water on one's head is a normal chore for kids growing up in Nigerien villages, but with the way Sofiane's hand had been, it couldn't have been easy for him to do. But now, after surgery and healing, he's able to lift and carry the bucket without losing a drop!
Now that he knows the snakes aren't real, Sofiane LOVES our April fools joke! If you want to see his original reaction, go to https://www.facebook.com/cureniger/videos/253721255657721/ or instagram @cureniger. We're grateful for staff like Issoufou who go out of their way to make our guesthouse kids laugh! Their kindness is especially important during this time of COVID-19 travel restrictions, when kids like Sofiane have to stick around longer than expected.
Sofiane is a phenomenal older brother - he took Seyfoulaye to the playground for some fun, making sure no one else took his baby brother's swing. Now, with the new COVID-19 social distancing measures in place, he lets other patients at the guesthouse know when they're getting too close to little Seyfoulaye - we're so proud of Sofiane for the way he watches out for his little brother as they both recover from surgery. Now, the two are pretty much healed, and it's just a waiting game until government COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted. We thank God for such a strong brotherly bond and we pray for protection and complete healing over the pair.
Sofiane listened intently as Hanatou, our spiritual director explained the importance of washing hands and not touching other people in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He is now trying hard to apply the new rules. "Don't touch me" he told his friend Tassiou during prayer rounds today, just after Emanuel reminded them of what Hanatou told them last week. We are glad that he is taking such good care of his health. Pray for all of our patients' health during this time of increased vigilance.
Sofiane loves to prank other kids with our stuffed snakes. He puts the snake behind someone and yells "snake!!!" - most of the time he gets the reaction he's looking for. It reminds us of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", but we hope a real snake never comes to surprise Sofiane like that. He is almost done with his PT massages for his finger and his mom is getting exited to go back home where she is not the only one to deal with his antics.
"I am REALLY excited to ride the new bikes!" says Sofiane - "They're the best thing that has ever happened to me!" It's no surprise he feels this way - rarely can parents in Niger afford even small presents for their kids, let alone new hand-crank bikes! Ever since the toys arrived on last-week's shipping container, Sofiane and a slew of other patients have been racing around the hospital grounds almost like a gang of bikers - unfortunately a few days ago they had a slight accident with some potted plants and their privileges are currently on hold : /. We hope they get their bikes back soon (and learn how to drive them safely)! Meanwhile, with regular physical therapy and bandage changes, Sofiane's hand is healing up nicely - it's an exciting time for this young man!
"When we get home, I will show Seyfoulaye off to everyone," Sofiane says. "He's my brother and he looks better this way." This morning, Sofiane hung out with his little brother Seyfoulaye while the baby waited for a post cleft-lip surgery wound-cleaning. Later Seyfoulaye hung out with Sofiane while he waited for a massage to help restore functionality to his burned hand - looks like they're a pretty good team!
"I don't want to see my brother with a cleft-lip anymore," says Sofiane. Today his baby brother Seyfoulaye is getting the same surgery Sofiane underwent a while ago. We asked him what will change after surgery - "People will see that we are all like them," he said with confidence.
Sofiane continued with his bandage change routine today in order to make sure everything stays clean and uninfection. He wasn't too happy at first because he thought it would hurt, but thankfully he had it changed without any pain. We pray that his hand continues to heal!
One of the things we love the most about the CURE Niger ward is that kids who are often rejected and excluded at their homes can find other kids struggling with disabilities and make friends here! This morning we found Sofiane had befriended another patient. As this new friend was waiting to go in to surgery, Sofiane and him spent some time looking through some picture books we have around the ward. The good news kept rolling as the doctors then discharged Sofiane to our patient guesthouse where he'll stay as he undergoes regular bandage changes and wound cleanings!
Sofiane seems to be healing up pretty quickly as he is already back to his sassy self. He was trying not to bust out laughing during this photo and he didn't last much longer than when this photo was taken! But with all his joking around, he's doing a great job keeping his hand elevated in order to decrease any post-op swelling that may happen.
Sofiane has got his surgery! Dr. Issa released released the tissue holding Sofiane's finger in the bent position and it can now straighten the entire way! We pray he will heal up in no time. Please join us in this!
Sofiane is here with us at CURE Niger for his surgery! Normally kids are a little nervous when they first get here, but he was laughing his head off as he was watching Underdog on the ward TV. Turns out flying and talking dogs are hysterical whether you can understand English or not!
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