Walking home this evening, I ran into a little boy, Obadious (o-bah-dee-ous) and his mother Ruth Gaye, hurriedly rushing past me; the child was in serious pain. His facial expression churned my stomach. I couldn’t imagine what this child was experiencing inside.
I called the pair over and as they approached, a tear rolled down Obadious swollen jaw from his also swollen eye. I brushed a finger across the area and told him,” sorry yey,”
He nodded and hummed, “mm.”
Instantly his mother became my friend and began explaining what was going on with my new friend.
“Two years ago his face started getting big. He was born with a small bump near his jaw bone. Since then, with every passing year, the lump grows with him. Recently it was so swollen that it affected his breathing and neck, and I had to rush him to JFK where they gave us some pain medicine and ordered an x-ray. We’re waiting for the results,” stated his mother.
Obadious has not been able to smile in two years. What used to be the grin and white teeth of a toddler is now replaced with sores in every part of his inner mouth and brown teeth.
“Sometimes when his face protrudes, he can only eat soft foods and would cry all day. As you can see right now, when the knot grows big, blood will start flowing from his nose and eye, like what is happening right now,” Ruth explained.
I looked down at the silent child and noticed blood was seeping through his swollen eye lids. He didn’t seem to notice.
According to Ruth, who says she has been going around trying to find means to cure him, she delayed in seeking treatment for the boy because the bump was so small. Now that it has swollen, Ruth says the hospital is charging her $25 to do an ultrasound to see if the tumor can be surgically removed or if there are similar ones in the child’s brain.
“I don’t have that money. We walked from as far as Johnsonville for my son’s business and we are walking back gradually,” she stated.
The family of this sick child is asking that someone contribute US$100 to find out what his problem is and from there they can work towards finding a way to cure it.
“My problem is, the doctors say the treatment that my son would need is not handled in Liberia and I need help,” said Madam Gaye.
Everyone is asked to help this child and his mother so that Obadious can finally be able to smile again.