Fadila's Procedure on
“When I returned home and saw her, I was shocked,” said Fadila’s mom, Mariama. “She was crying and shouting, ‘Mom! Mom! I’m burned! It hurts!'” Mariama recounts. Seven months ago, Fadila was goofing around with her older sister in the… Read more
“When I returned home and saw her, I was shocked,” said Fadila’s mom, Mariama. “She was crying and shouting, ‘Mom! Mom! I’m burned! It hurts!'” Mariama recounts. Seven months ago, Fadila was goofing around with her older sister in the kitchen and she accidentally dipped her hand in a pot of boiling water. Her mom was out, so others rushed Fadila to the doctor and Mariama saw her only after.
At first Fadila was in a lot of pain, but slowly the burn healed. As it did, the tissue in her fingers contracted, causing them to curl inward. She returned to school, but the other kids made fun of her - instead of calling her by her name they referred to her as, “The girl with the claw hand.”
But a few weeks ago, during one of our local outreaches, a CURE Niger nurse gave Fadila’s father a pamphlet showing pictures of hands almost exactly like his daughter’s. The family wasted no time in bringing her here to us, and now she’ll receive surgery to release her fingers and giver her back mobility in her hand!
Fadila is a bright and active girl, already dancing around the ward and exchanging toys with other patients. After she heals, she'll be able to go back to school, to write again, and to learn without the fear of insult. “I want my hand to be better so that I can work,” she says. “I want to be a teacher.”
This week the heavy rains are making it harder for our patients to come to physical therapy - rain is a blessing in Niger, but it usually floods unpaved roads in our city and makes it hard to get around. We took this photo another day, when the sun was shining and Fadila was here for her regular physical therapy session. Pray that she'd be able to make it here later this week!
We caught up with Fadila as she was waiting for another physical therapy session - she loooves pretending to pout for the camera, but with a little nudging, her serious facade usually breaks into a huge smile. "She's doing her exercises well," said her mom. "But to keep her fingers straight they (the physical therapy team) gave her a splint to wear at night." We're still praying for Fadila to have unhindered progress!
It's another PSA from Fadila ... wash your hands! Here in Niger, our international airpot JUST reopened after months of shutdown - it's a time of testing for the nation to see whether the COVID situation remains stable (as it has) or not. At the hospital, we're taking extra precautions, and we're happy Fadila's a part of it. She's also been doing a great job in another area - her at-home hand exercises! "They're not easy," says her mom, "But she's doing them." Keep praying for Fadila as she continues physical therapy here with us. Pray for special protection for our hospital too, that COVID will remain far away so we can continue our surgeries and services!
"It’s hard for patients, but sometime we have to stretch their muscles to the point of pain," says Saleye as she massages Fadila's hand. "It's the only way to get better." This morning Fadila's fingers look so straight - it's amazing the change surgery has brought about. But without physical therapy, the good of surgery will slowly be reversed. And even though her fingers are straight now, they still need to regain a lot of motion. "We always look at the patient’ face and see how much pain they're in," continues Saleye, prompting Fadila to clench her first. "If it's too much we give them a break and then start again." This morning was hard for Fadila and Saleye had to coax her a few times before she made a fist, but she's making progress and she's battling through the pain. Keep praying for her as she keeps working. She'll wear a cast for another week, but hopefully soon it can be replaced by a removable splint.
Fadila admired her baby brother while waiting for her physical therapy appointment this morning. Even though she's smiling here she's not excited for her upcoming exercises - fortunately though her mom's strong enough to insist her daughter sticks to the program. According to Dr. Karim, Fadila's making good progress - pray that she'd have the perseverance and long-sightedness to keep doing her physical therapy exercises at home!
This morning we caught Fadila waiting for her follow-up appointment with Dr. Anthony. "Her hand is healing well," one of our consultation nurses told us afterwards. We'll see Fadila again next week for another check-up. Hopefully soon her hand will be healed enough to forego the bandage and start on more intensive physical therapy. Meanwhile, she's anxious to get back to school.
Fadila was “shy” this morning to have her picture taken...or was she? She's turning out to be the queen of mischief, so it's hard to tell. We caught her waiting for her bandage change with the same patients and moms in the ward last week. They were all laughing and talking together, which is good because the waiting line can be long. Even so, Fadila's been faithfully coming for her appointments and her surgery wound is continuing to heal. Thanks for all your prayers on her behalf.
After Fadila's surgery, her mom was so happy. "Thank you so much," she said right before they were discharged this morning. "Really, thank you." Fadila will be back next week for bandage changes - until then please pray for her continued healing at home!
Fadila made it in and out of surgery with no complications - afterwards nurse Deborah checked Fadila's vital signs and made sure she was doing well up until she woke up. She's already back in the ward and anxious to eat her first post-surgery meal!
This morning Fadila stopped for a minute to watch the story of Adam and Eve unfolding on the ward TV above her. She just got here this morning but she's already made friends with another patient who's also getting ready to have surgery!
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