Bamako, Mali – Pam Silverman, ReSurge volunteer occupational/hand therapist.
We met Awa (pictured left next to her mother) during ReSurge’s visit to Bamako last year at Gabriel Toure Hospital. Awa had sustained a devastating electrical injury affecting all four extremities and her belly. She had been shaking fruit out of a fruit tree with a metal pipe. As the pipe hit a live wire she was electrocuted through both hands with the left hand and foot sustaining the most severe injuries. She also had exit wounds through her right hand, right foot and belly.
Awa is an 11-year-old, French speaking, Malian girl with a lovely sense of humor and a tremendous heart. Last year’s ReSurge medical team treated Awa’s injuries during their time in Bamako. It was then she became my patient. She participated fully in her nursing care, occupational therapy and hand therapy but it was clear that she would need multiple procedures to regain function.
After the team left, Dr. Oumar Coulibaly continued to care for Awa. Ultimately all her wounds healed. She returned with her family to Segou, a city many hours away from Bamako.
When the Resurge team arrived to Bamako this year, Awa was waiting eagerly with her family. She was dressed in a very becoming dress and had a grown up purse over her shoulder. There were no signs of limping despite the partial amputation to her left foot and healed wounds of her right foot. She proudly told us that she can walk, run and shoot “les basket” (basketball). She attends school and is now a 6th grader. She uses her right hand to write despite the severe contractures of her long and ring fingers.
This year Awa underwent contracture releases of her right thumb web, ring and small fingers. She is now undergoing wound care and hand therapy provided by Resurge to improve her right hand function.
Photo from left to right: ReSurge volunteer translator/coordinator, Jacques Dedeken; Awa and Dr. Oumar Coulibaly.