Country | Senegal
Age | 5
Surgery | Plastic Reconstructive
Aliou was just 3 years old when his blanket ignited while he was sitting around a fire—severely burning his upper body. His father worried the child wouldn’t survive, but his grandmother Bintou wouldn’t give up hope. But as Aliou’s burns healed, his arm contracted and became immobile. Surgery was his only option, but it was an option his family could never afford.
This tragedy brought Aliou excruciating pain and stole his ability to write. For his grandmother, Bintou, seeing her grandson go to school was a priority, but more importantly, she was determined to find healing for him.
One day, Bintou heard exciting news on the radio about Mercy Ships coming to the port of Dakar to bring hope and healing to the people and her hope returned; now all she needed was healing. She embarked on the four-hour journey to her nation’s capital to bring her grandson to the hospital ship that would straighten his arm.
When Bintou saw Aliou healed, she was brimming with joy and gratitude. “Mercy Ships opened the big door to Aliou’s future,” she said.
Once he had recovered, he received therapy to rehabilitate the motion in his arm before returning home. It’s a critical step in ensuring the work done by the volunteer surgeons would last a lifetime.
Today Aliou’s future has been unleashed. “Everything he could not do before, he can do now,” she says, “He is living like a normal boy… and soon he will begin school!”