7 Jun 2010

Mikias' Story - An Ethiopian Child Gets Direct Help For Osteomyelitis

May 2010
Through the direct help of the Mediterranea Organization, an Ethiopian child, Mikias, who had chronic osteomyelitis in his right forearm, was brought to Mallorca for care and attention and his first operation towards successfully helping him toward recovery.

After several days with intravenous antibiotics, he was put in the operating room to clean up his damaged area.  It was found that there was a very important bone destruction, created by the infection, so it will be necessary to transplant a fibula bone from his leg , in order to save the forearm.

Mikias must be out of the hospital for one month- to be sure that the area is clean from bacteria’s - and after this month the second operation will take place and we hope it will be the final one one.

Mikias began with his osteomyelitis (infection in the bone) 3 years ago. He had a fracture that could have been cured, without any problem had there been the means and the antibiotics, but by not having access to them, he has spent a lot of time going to and from hospitals and slowly becoming worse.

He spent a  year in a hospital without specific treatment, only traction.  In another Hospital they wanted to cut his arm and in another one they put him a plaster cast for three months  ………

He was fortunate to find a Cuban traumatologist, who belongs to the Cuban medical brigades and works in the St. Paulo’s Hospital in Addis.

This doctor removed the plaster cast, and the wound, in Mikias’ arm, was swarming with worms.

The Cuban specialist has been giving him, during several months, antibiotics that he miraculously, managed to get (in Ethiopia all medicines have to be paid for), and this has allowed Mikias to survive.

We heard  about  Mikias, through this Cuban Doctor.

Mikias has a 7 years-old brother and his mother who is 5 months’ pregnant. He is here with his father.

When we were last  in Addis, we visited his mother. They live in an extremely humble house and she is helped by the solidarity of their neighbours. Her husband who is here now is the only bread winner.

Mediterranean is taking care of the Mikia's mother and brother while the father is unable to work and support his family.

 We have learnt that when we take on a responsibility like this we have to see if in helping the child we might be creating a problem or worsening a need in the family. Nothing is as simple as it may look initially and all angles have to be studied and evaluated.
When these families send us photos they put on their best clothes or a lent clothes by the photographer, so their real condition at times is hard to judge.

Mikias is a very good student. He learned, after he had the problem with his arm, to write with his left hand.    His illness has never been an impediment for learning.
He is also a very brave and resistant child who can put up with a lot of suffering and pain..
At present Mikias and his father are staying in the house Martha and the other Mikias stayed at in Portals Nous.

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