This week marks the beginning of what we hope to be young Fatmata Tarawalie’s recovery. Fatmata doesn’t remember exactly how long she has been struggling with a large wound on the outside of her left ankle, but she estimates it to be around 14 years. To this day Fatmata experiences severe pain and difficulty walking. Throughout the years, Fatmata and her family have spent countless Leones (the national currency) seeking treatment from local hospitals, native doctors and traditional medicine, and none of them have successfully been able to diagnose, nor properly treat her painful wound.
After years of suffering from the same chronic sore that is now bigger than a softball, Fatmata’s serious wound has left her with serious chronic pain and impaired mobility. The people in Fatmata’s village began to accuse her of engaging in witchcraft because they did not understand what could cause this sore to plague her for so long. She recently fled her village in order to escape the ostracism and maltreatment she experienced there.
It was around this time last year that a Women of Hope health team came to host a health fair and first examined Fatmata’s wound. The medical professionals did some wound care for people with disabilities and their families, and taught Fatmata how to daily care for her wound. The team anticipated it would heal with regular, proper cleaning and bandaging, and saw significant improvement at that time. About a month later however, Fatmata’s wound regressed again after the team had left. Once again Fatmata was left utterly discouraged as she felt all options for recovery had been exhausted. She turned to a witchdoctor who promised her a “guaranteed cure” for the sum of $150 – an unfathomable amount for Fatmata to acquire – but she was determined to try anything to find a cure.
It was in Memphis that the Women of Hope International Director, Kim Kargbo, was sharing Fatmata’s story and asking for members of her Sunday school class to join with her in prayer. One of Kim’s Sunday school classmates, who happened to be a doctor, became curious after hearing about Fatmata’s plight and decided to research possible causes and treatment options. His time and efforts in suggesting possible treatments, led to finding a regimen that may result in permanent healing.
Agreeing to this treatment plan required a significant commitment from Fatmata. She had to agree to stop seeing the witchdoctor and take a chance on “white man’s medicine” to heal her. Additionally, she had to find a place to live in the town of Makeni (she is from a village several miles out, making daily dressing changes implausible). Though fearful, she agreed to try, and found a room to rent for her and her 2 year old son, Abu. They moved in this week. She is required to come to the office daily to take her antibiotics under observation and soak and dress the wound.
Would you join with us in praying that the God who heals would meet Fatmata where she is? Please pray that she is faithful in taking her antibiotics and properly treating the wound over these next six weeks with the help and encouragement of Women of Hope staff. Pray that the treatment plan would be successful, and that her wound would be permanently healed. Pray that during this time she will know that it is the great “I Am” who is the ultimate healer, and that she and her young son would experience the love of Jesus Christ during this great time of need.