One-year-old Michael Flomo, who has been fighting for his life for the past year, is faced by the inevitable: he is going to die.
Baby Michael has phase four cancer, which has now invaded his entire body, leaving visible signs of swollen lymph nodes in his head, neck and left leg.
He spends the better half of the day crying from pain that can no longer be soothed through any form of medicine.
The cancerous mass on the right side of his face that placed Michael on the front page of almost every paper in Liberia, is now infected and further deforming the child’s face.
Quite recently, maggots and a green colored residue have developed in the mass, causing a stench and more excruciating pain for baby Michael.
Little Michael Flomo is suffering the kind of slow death that no child should have to suffer.
His Mother, 19-year-old Hawa Flomo, has been talking frantically to every media outlet, humanitarian organization, and person with a caring heart to come to her son’s rescue.
She feels she has played her role as a parent by providing baby Michael with as much as her poverty-stricken hands have allowed her to. But Michael needed more; he needed medical attention. For that reason, she placed baby Michael in the hands of God, the media, and the nation’s hospitals.
Diagnosed with cancer just over a month ago by Doctor Wilhelmina Jallah at Hope for Women medical center, Hawa credits Mrs. Charlesetta N. Williams for making all of that possible.
Mrs. Williams is the CEO for Health Page Liberia, a local health NGO, which caters for sick Liberian children and flies them out of the country to seek better medical attention abroad.
“She came to our aid and has been doing everything. If it was not for her, I would not have known what was happening to my baby,” 19-year-old Hawa said.
Mrs. Williams has no doubt exhausted all of her resources trying to make sure that baby Michael gets to live as normal a life just as possible for a toddler in his condition.
In a recent article written in this paper on March 19, 2014, titled: “Mother Seeks Help for Child with Ocular Growth,” Mrs. Williams said she deemed it necessary to see what she could do for the dying child, and has since been a part of the family’s life.
“I have helped 200 children, who needed help to fight for their lives. I will probably stop after this child; because his case has really hurt me,” she said with tears in her eyes.
With the combined efforts of Mrs. Williams and Dr. Paul King, a neo-surgeon living abroad, hope had been instilled into Hawa that her baby might have a chance to live.
“I will be in Liberia next week and may be able to evaluate him and remove the mass. I will be bringing surgical instruments that can be used to remove the mass.” Paul King posted on the Liberian Observer Online’s Facebook page.
Unfortunately, according to Mrs. Williams, who accomanied the baby Michael and his mother to Tappita Hospital, where scanning for cancer is routinely done, baby Michael spent two weeks at the hospital only to confirm the worst; the cancer had spread into his brain.
Dr. King, as promised, was on the team of doctors attending to Michael. When given the option to have the mass moved, Hawa opted not to have the procedure done since it had already been determined that Michael would not live.
“The doctor says he doesn’t have much longer to live. They asked Hawa if she wanted them to move the mass, but the doctors said whether you moved it or not, he wouldn’t make it; so she said no,” Mrs. Williams explained sadly.
After spending two weeks at Tappita Hospital, baby Michael who left Monrovia with a reasonable weight and a promising smile, returned looking underweight and with more signs of cancerous tumors.
“Aye God, I wish we hadn’t gone to Tappita. Now my baby is dying. The doctors say there’s no treatment for him, my son is going to die!” Hawa wailed.
Baby Michael has been released from the hospital to rest at home until the unavoidable takes its course; leaving his mother Hawa in a state of hopelessness.
Hawa expressed her thanks to those who took time out of their own lives to assist Michael and her through these troubling times. She asks that everyone who has heard of baby Michael through the Daily Observer or any other form of media please pray for her child’s peaceful removal from this world into the arms of the Lord.
In other sorrowful news, 13-year-old Fernice Thomas was laid to rest on Saturday, April 12, after losing his long battle with kidney failure. Fernice’s struggle with the condition was detailed in the Daily Observer’s April 1st, 2014 paper in the article titled: “Fighting for Survival-Fernice Wants to Live.”
The Daily Observer Family offers our deepest sympathies to Fernice’s mother Jessie Nyenploe, and the rest of his family. We also extend our prayers to baby Michael Flomo, His mother Hawa, and their family.
“You were born a child of light’s wonderful secret—you return to the beauty you have always been.”
-Aberjhani, taken from Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black.