A Toxic Mix-up

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FINAL--6 year-old Abass.jpg

Two little boys, three years apart and living miles away from one another, have sustained serious and life threatening internal injuries after drinking a toxic mix- up they did not know was not drinking water. Since then, both boys have been in an unimaginable state of pain, hospital visits, chronic malnutrition, failed attempts at medical treatment and uncertainties.

“My son was thirsty when at a neighbor’s he took the cup that had the (caustic) soda inside and drank it,” stated Abass’ father.

Baby Abass was a little over a year when he had this encounter with lye poisoning while visiting a neighbor’s house. Immediately after the child drank the caustic soda, he was given water which washed it down and spread the soda further into his system.

Abass’s digestive system was so badly seared that a feeding tube was inserted into his intestine by the Firestone Hospital in hopes of making sure the child continues to get food into his system.

However, there were so many challenges for the child during the first year after his accident, but through it all, Abass has been a strong fighter. According to his father, who cannot be named due to the circumstances surrounding his job, Abass has the will to live.

“Imagine that he has managed to survive even though his system was burned. He is six now,” he said.

A few months ago, the child was taken to Ghana for a series of reconstructive surgeries through Health Page Liberia, an organization that seeks assistance for sick children requiring medical treatment abroad.

Unfortunately, he was discharged from the hospital earlier than he should have been because some bills were unattended to.

Baby Abass returned to Monrovia without a prescription or any promises of returning back to the hospital for a follow up. In-between his stay home, a month ago, his feeding tube mistakenly slipped from its position because of the infection that had entered the area.

“Whenever we try to re-insert the tube, the pain would be too unbearable for Abass, so we ended up leaving it out,” his father said.

Baby Abass’ mother has tried to care for the leaking opening in his stomach where the feeding tube was once inserted. The child’s stomach became a concern so his father contacted this newspaper seeking relief men of goodwill and philanthropic organizations and he has been taken to hospital a week ago and placed on an IV.

“They say they cannot do anything like an operation to re-insert the tube or anything because it was in Ghana that the tube was inserted and the doctors there know what’s going on inside there. That means if Abass doesn’t get back to Ghana quick, the worst could happen,” his father stated.

According to the medical report from Ghana, Abass’ feeding tube can be removed if he is able to feed by mouth successfully, which he has been obligated to do since his feeding tube fell out.

“We need a doctor to close the hole where the tube once was, that is our main concern,” the father added.

Meanwhile, Abass has since been discharged and still has not had the hole in his stomach sealed. Presently, there is a minor leakage from the wound.

His family has begun feeding him by mouth and so far the child has been able to swallow his food, but according to the family, each time his food digests, fluid shoots from the hole.

“We need to close up the hole or get his tube re-inserted. Something needs to be done to help my son, please,” his father pleaded.

Meanwhile Rep. Saah Joseph posted a photo of another child Vamba Sheriff on his facebook page that has sparked the attention of people all over the world. The details of how Sheriff swallowed caustic soda is not known to this newspaper, as the child’s whereabouts are still being sought, but it is reported that Sheriff mid last year came into contact with the chemical and is yet to receive any medical attention.

In the meantime, these children need help immediately. It may be recalled that a girl affected by the same circumstance, was assisted by Senator George Weah and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a few years ago and the child is doing fine.

Parents are cautioned to watch the movements and whereabouts of children who go out to play.

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