CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone

by Bethany Relief and Rehabilitation International
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CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone
CHANGE A LIFE - pediatric surgery in Sierra Leone

Dr. Lebbie

Dr. Lebbie

We are very blessed to have Dr. Lebbie as our BethanyKids pediatric surgeon in Sierra Leone.  Thank you for your support for our work there.  Your generosity continues to make a difference in the lives of many children.


A NOTE FROM DR. LEBBIE:

We are thankful that life here is slowly returning back to normal. Travel has opened up enabling me to resume my routine visits to clinics as far away as Jericho Road's Adama Martha Memorial Community Health Center (AMMCH).  Please accept my gratitude for your continued support.  

I want to share with you the accomplishments over this past year which would not have been possible without your support.  Despite the challenges we faced as a result of Covid-19, 256 children received surgical treatment; and we provided over 1,000 outpatient reviews and consultations. Twenty (24) four children gave their lives to Christ. We are deeply thankful to see so many lives transformed for eternity.
This past month, I was able to travel to Adama Martha Community Health Center to provide consultations and reviews to children in need of treatment there.  This community health center is located nearly 400km from Connaught hospital in Freetown which is my primary work location.  Unfortunately, my team and I did not perform any operations at the centre.  One of the barriers to treating children with disabilities we often come across is the lack of education within rural communities regarding the medical options available to support children born with disabilities.  Moreover, many communities are superstious towards those with disabilities. This is an area we continue to place efforts in by providing the necessary awareness and education to debunk negatively held beliefs. As we continue to raise awareness, I am optimistic that parents will be encouraged to bring their children for treatment.
CURRENT NEED: 
We have a proposed new surgical camp at the Makeni regional hospital located towards the Northern part of the country.  We are looking forward to providing surgical treatment in this new location as soon as we can get the basic theatre equipment and pediatric surgical instruments needed there.  This will help children in this part of the coutry to access the care that they desperately need.  Would you consider giving towards this need?
 
The team here in Sierra Leone, the children and parents thank you most sincerely for your support!

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Dr. Lebbie bonding with Grace before treatment
Dr. Lebbie bonding with Grace before treatment

Doctor Lebbie bonding with Grace presurgery

I occassionally get the chance to travel to rural and remote villages of my country Sierra Leone to provide treatment to children who for many reasons are unable to access healthcare or travel to health clinics.  It is during one of my recent trips that I got to meet 3 year old Grace.

Finding Grace is what I term a divine appointment.  Appearing severely malnourished, weak and dejected, this beautiful little girl seemed to bear the weight of the world on her frail shoulders.  It appeared she had a condition noone in her family understood or had a name for.  Consequently they had regarded it as a curse, convinced that her condition was untreatable.

I was heartbroken, as I often am when I come across cases like Grace's. Like her, many children have suffered in the hands of traditional healers who do more harm than good and pass on harmful labels.  I later discovered that Grace had anorectal malformation and her anal passage was completely blocked.

To her family I had some good news to deliver.  That Grace's condition was not unusual and it could be corrected through surgery. It took some convincing, but thankfully we all agreed that Grace needed a treatment plan quickly.  First was to get her on an intensive nutrition program to get her strong enough for surgery.  This would be done for about two weeks after which surgery could be performed.  In this photo here, I was initiating a bond with Grace before taking her to treatment, letting her know that she was 'seen' and loved.

Giving hope to children like Grace, and knowing that her pain will soon be a thing of the past keeps me motivated. And it is because of your unwavering committment to support my work here through BethanyKids that I have been able to perform over 200 surgeries and treat nearly 800 outpatients this year alone despite the pandemic.  

I now ask you: Would you join me in helping Grace and many like her access the treatment needed to live a normal, happy and healthy life?  Every support you extend through BethanyKids counts. It is always a joy for me to continue updating you on the progress we are making together on behalf of the children here in Sierra Leone. Thank you!

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From our Surgeon’s heart to yours.

On behalf of the children of Sierra Leone, thank you for the impact you are having in their lives. Your support is making a huge difference here in transforming children’s lives through surgeries.

So much has been accomplished through your support.

In this first quarter of 2021, your financial support has helped us treat over 400 children. I consider this a miracle given the restrictions and limitations of our current working environment due to Covid-19.  We are confident that these challenges will eventually be overcome, and we will be able to reach even more children.

Zachariah Can Now Start School!

I want to share with you a story that moved me deeply this past month.  Zacharia is a 12-year-old boy who was born with a complex malformation. He received a colostomy, (a surgical operation in which a piece of the colon is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall), at only 3 days old. He has lived with the colostomy and been isolated from his community all his life. In addition to being ostracized because of his condition, he could not go to school as he was not allowed to interact with other children. Six weeks ago, a volunteer who was part of a group of people doing community service in Zacharia’s village recognized his suffering and brought him to the hospital. Our team performed a successful surgery and Zachariah is now on the road to full recovery.  Zachariah will start school soon and you can imagine his excitement after all of these years!

I am so grateful that God has used our partnership to bring a smile to the face of this promising young man!  Thank you! 

Your help is needed

We continue to see many children with conditions such as Zachariah’s who require immediate attention. The pandemic has caused shortages in sutures for surgical procedures, PPEs, and especially masks for the surgical wards. Would you consider helping us financially?  We greatly need these items to continue caring for these little ones.

Thank you for standing with us and helping us to continue to offer hope and healing to the many children in need here in Sierra Leone.

Most humbly submitted,

Dr. Lebbie

Zachariah is recovering!
Zachariah is recovering!

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Dr. Lebbie
Dr. Lebbie

On behalf of the children I serve surgically in Sierra Leone, I wish to heartily thank you for providing much needed financial support.  You make my work of taking care of children with surgical needs possible.  Thank you for your generous donations during the challenging year of 2020 and your pledge to support my pediatric surgical work in 2021.

Covid is still in the country of Sierra Leone and the entire health system continues to struggle in the face of the pandemic.

The greatest current need for me is the lack of appropriate sutures for surgical procedures. Before Covid, sutures were received from friends visiting from abroad, but Covid has stopped that from happening.  PPEs, especially mask, are still much needed. 

I want to share with you a few stories of recent patients - these are just 3 of the many patients you have supported through the BethanyKids ministry in Sierra Leone:

Jeneba is a 10-year-old little girl who had a typhoid perforation.  She had three operations, has now fully recovered and returned back to school.  The picture of her was taken after recovering from her last operation. Together, with her mother, they were happy for the surgical care and support.

The other two pictures are those of 12-year-old Hassan.  He had lived with a cleft lip and was isolated from his community for 12 years. After receiving surgical care, Hassan's life was changed and he is now a very happy and thankful boy and no longer lives in isolation.

Antoinette is a 5-month-old female born with a Sacrococcygeal teratoma and was presented to my clinic with a mass in the gluteal region that was growing rapidly. After all necessary preparations, she underwent a successful surgery and was able to return home.  The mom is very grateful, and the child is being followed up regularly and doing well. (No picture is available due to the type of surgery.)

Most humbly submitted,

Dr. Lebbie

Jeneba is thankful for a successful surgery.
Jeneba is thankful for a successful surgery.
Hassan before surgery.
Hassan before surgery.
The swelling will diminish with time.
The swelling will diminish with time.

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Dr. Lebbie
Dr. Lebbie

We are very blessed to have Dr. Lebbie as our BethanyKids pediatric surgeon in Sierra Leone.  And because of your support, we are able to ensure that no child is turned away due to lack of funds. Thank you for making this possible!

 

A NOTE FROM DR. LEBBIE:

Please accept my most humble gratitude for your support.  Because of you - my pediatric surgical ministry continues in my home country of Sierra Leone.

Your donation truly makes a difference in the precious lives of children in Sierra Leone. Here is a message from an appreciative mother of a BethanyKids patient.

“We really do appreciate your financial assistance and prayers. We have never felt so much love before.”

I also want to share with you the current challenge In Sierra Leone:  I have very limited PPE to use when at work in the hospital and during the performance of emergency operations.

Prayer Request:  Please pray for me and my family and for strength during these trying times.

Despite the challenges, I remain grateful to God for helping us to cope and to continue to serve. I also thank you for your continuous support and prayers for us.

We, the children in Africa, and their parents, thank you!

Dr. Lebbie

Dr. Lebbie works at Connaught Hospital in Freetown
Dr. Lebbie works at Connaught Hospital in Freetown
Mum with her sweet baby
Mum with her sweet baby

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Bethany Relief and Rehabilitation International

Location: Abingdon, VA - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @bethanykids
Project Leader:
BethanyKids Africa
Abingdon, VA United States
$12,185 raised of $15,000 goal
 
54 donations
$2,815 to go
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