Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Ashley Ajah

This is a blog I have started writing at least 3 times but has been difficult because we have not been able to come up with any definite solutions for Ashley who is just a little younger than Hannah. However, I am reaffirmed and comforted when reading the Scriptures that God cares for His children and He will provide what is needed.

Meet Ashley. Ashley is a precious little girl who is around 7 years old. Her parents aren't really sure her exact age (it is common to not know your birthday in the villages). We met Ashley in my Sunday School class in Muea, one of the villages in which we minister. In June of 2013 her mom was working on the farm and Ashley was playing outside near her home where there was a big pot of boiling water. As she was playing with the other children she ran into the pot and her arm and part of her neck fell in the water causing severe burns as you can see below.  
There are not specialized surgeons in our area for the type of surgery she needed but the locals tried their best to help her. Unfortunately, some complications continue today. 

 After surgery they tied her arm in a sling, probably to prevent infection. However, because she was not taken to a specialist the surgery given caused an infection. The side effect of this was that as the skin grew back her right arm was misshapen and is unusable today..

 The burn on her neck caused scarring limiting her head movement. She cannot lift or turn her head well.

Her parents have stopped sending her to school for now because it was her right arm/hand that was burned. In Cameroon it is not common for someone to learn how to write with their left. I've heard that even if a child is left handed they train children to use and write with their right hand due to cultural reasons.

 We were in the process of arranging to get her surgery from a group of doctors in the States who were coming to a nearby hospital to do surgeries such as this. However, the group is no longer coming to Cameroon due to the Ebola outbreak in our neighboring country, Nigeria, and there are currently no definite plans for them to come at later date.
A doctor friend of mine has recently put us in touch with another surgeon that will be coming to the North West part of Cameroon in a town called Mbingo. He could possibly do the surgeries that are needed and the hospital up there, one of the biggest and best in the country, could help with the physical therapy and rehab that is also needed.

Please keep Ashley in your prayers:

- That she will be able to get the right surgery that she needs. While we know there will always be extensive scarring, we hope for her to be able to get the use of her right hand again and to be able to move freely so that she can resume school and lead a normal life.
- That she will be able to get the right therapy needed after surgery.
- That the funds will be available to help her. We are praying that we can help raise the funds, when the time comes for her surgery. One of her family members will need to go with her and stay with her to help with feeding and so forth while she is up at the hospital. This will be a significant expense for them as well.
- And most importantly that she and her family will know that Christ loves them. Maybe out of this distress, the love of God can be shown to her and her family.

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