Mohamed’s Story: Hope in Action
When we hear the diagnosis Tuberculosis (TB), we usually think lung disease. We may not consider that tuberculosis, when left untreated, can move from the lungs to negatively affect other places in the body, including the spine. At two years old, Mohamed was playing in the market at the feet of his grandmother, when one of Enable the Children’s physiotherapists observed him while shopping for mangos.
Noticing that the boy was underweight and coughing quite badly, she encouraged Mohamed’s grandmother to bring him to the clinic for an assessment. Though she had reservations, Mohamed and his grandmother arrived at the clinic, and he was sent for testing. Tests revealed that he had TB of the spine. Left untreated, this condition could cause severe paralysis and death.
The Road to Recovery
The Enable the Children team was able to begin a regimen of medication and physiotherapy for Mohamed so he would have hope for recovery. During their interactions with his grandmother, the team discovered that Mohamed’s mother had passed away and his grandmother was alone to care for him. Her isolation and his obvious but undiagnosed illness had triggered depression, and they were struggling financially. Both of these contributed to her not seeking help for him.
Mohamed, with the help of his grandmother, began taking medication and following a regular exercise program tailored to his needs. As they continued to work with the team and at home, Mohamed began to show improvement. Little by little, he experienced positive changes. With some time and investment in his personally tailored schedule, he graduated from doing exercises to using equipment to aid his recovery. Leg splints allowed him to stand up straight and put weight on his legs and a wooden walker helped him to move around.
A Positive Outcome
Mohamed has shown marked improvement. As a result of his diagnoses, treatment, and his grandmother’s assistance, Mohamed is now able to do things on his own. He pulls himself up, stands, and walks independently. His coughing is but a memory and the sweating has stopped. He no longer needs to take medication for TB. His grandmother has found hope for her and her grandson’s future with so much appreciation for the team and all their efforts to see Mohamed be given an opportunity to live with dignity.
Rehab Therapist Assistant
World Hope International
Enable The Children is a team of local and expatriate staff who provide Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, care, and support services to over 1,000 children living with disabilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
You can support WHI’s efforts to empower children with disabilities by giving to The Hope Fund.