Abraham was 17 years old when we met him in a village to the north of Bassar called Mboumbiam. He was playing soccer for a regional soccer team and he was one of their stars. He was on the fast track to play for the Togo national team. Unfortunately, he developed a small lump on his leg which quickly developed into a massive ulcer. Abraham’s life was devastated and he felt helpless. He had been treating his wound for many months with thick black poultices. This was a traditional remedy used in Togo. He had severe contractures around his ankle joint and needed the assistance of a crutch and friends to help him walk. He was unable to work on the family farm and because of this he was the last to eat and often went without food.
Initially we left him with a large amount of wound care material and directions on how to use it. Over the next six to eight months his wound improved although it was still very large. He still had great difficulty walking and required assistance with crutches. As we talked about his future, I told him our goal was to get his walking again and return to soccer.
Approximately one year later, we were able to work with an advanced wound care company in the United States. We were able to procure a Dermagraft and wound vacuum for Abraham. In July of 2015 Abraham was admitted to our Sokode clinic We applied the wound vacuum and graft. He was given vitamins and was fed six high protein meals per day. Our generous Clinics of Hope supporters allowed us to provide our best care for this young man.
After three weeks it was time for our team to return to the U.S. Before leaving, we were able to purchase a new pair of sneakers and a soccer ball for Abraham. At this time his leg had returned to almost normal size. The wounds however were still present but improving.
On our return visit approximately six months later some of the grafts had incorporated and his wound had reduced about 50% Unfortunately the synthetic graft is no longer available. We decided to harvest a split thickness skin graft from his thigh and apply this to his wound. Our team followed him for the next two weeks. He was then left in the hands of our very competent medical assistant, Eric.
Eric sent us weekly pictures and measurements. The majority of his wound closed well. He continued to recover in our clinic with good nutrition and medical care.
He later returned to his village to work and be a productive part of his family. Abraham had periods of pain and swelling due to a small accident. He was moved back to our clinic in Sokode. We are now helping him financially. We are giving him a small salary for helping around the clinics, which helps him with his school fees. He would like to become a nurse someday and work for Clinics of Hope. He is now able to play pickup soccer with his friends. He is walking well without crutches. His leg is stable and continues to improve. His life has changed completely because of your generous love and support.