The effects of leprosy and Buruli ulcer are devastating, especially to children, as you can see in Awal’s story below. You have the power to reverse the effects with your gift today.
Each of the surgeries below offers you the opportunity to transform someone’s life.
Awal, who we met in Ghana, was infected with dangerous bacteria when he was only 9 years old. He didn’t know what was happening. He was riding his bike, going to school – simply living life like a 9-year-old boy should – when a small boil appeared on his arm. His mother and father didn’t think too much about it, but applied a herbal salve regularly.
Then, to the surprise of everyone, the arm ballooned. The swelling was extremely painful and the “boil” refused to go away. For a full year the family treated it like they would treat a common boil. In the meantime, the infection grew stronger inside of Awal’s body.
“I didn’t know what was happening,” he tells us. “It just kept getting worse and worse.”
When Awal nal arrived at the hospital, it was clear that the infection was much more serious than a boil. He had a Buruli ulcer. The infection was so serious he required immediate surgery and a skin graft.
Awal was terrified.
Even after the surgery, he could not go to school, his arm was much too painful. In fact, he was unable to stretch his arm to the full length. The surgery Awal desperately needed is called a “contracture release”. This surgery removes the damaged muscle, allowing for a wider range of motion.
The surgery restored Awal’s ability to ride a bike, carry water for his mother, turn the pages of a book and take a bath.
While the journey was long and exhausting, Awal is now prepared to go back to school and pick up where he left off.
Awal is a fortunate young man – while he still has the scars of Buruli ulcer the infection is treated. Modern surgery helped him regain the use of his arm. He now has the opportunity to pursue his education and look forward to a career.