This week we carried a pitiful and urgent story of a poor 19-year-old single mother whose son Michael is suffering from a very serious eye condition. The eye is vastly over grown, dominating his entire face and causing the child great pain, discomfort and even bleeding.
The mother, 19-year-old Hawa Flomo, was brought to the Daily Observer office by the great Liberian mother of sick children, Mrs. Charlesetta Williams, who has made it her business over many years to rescue those of our sick children in extraordinarily difficult conditions that cannot be cured in Liberia. This kind, caring and indefatigable woman has raised money from many compassionate sources and transported children to Ghana, Germany, the United States and elsewhere and exposed them to successful medical and surgical procedures.
One of the most recent cases was little Kebbeh, who mistakenly drank caustic soda that destroyed her throat and her swallowing capacity, making it impossible for her to eat normally, except through a tube in her stomach. With the help of several caring organizations, including the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the Daily Observer and others, the child and her mother were flown to Accra, Ghana, where she successfully underwent surgery.
She and her mom are back home, the child is eating normally, growing fine and in school. The mother, too, has returned to school.
Our reporter Alvin Worzi interviewed Mrs. Williams and Hawa, Michael's mother. They told him that the mother had taken her son to all the leading hospitals in Liberia–the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Firestone's Du Side Medical Center and the Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County. All of these hospitals told her the equipment for dealing with Michael's case was not in Liberia and therefore the child had to be flown abroad for ophthalmic surgery.
Some people told the distressed mother to simply wait until her son died and then the problem would be no more. But this loving and caring mother says she does not want her child to die, so she is appealing to all humanitarians in Liberia, in the international community, to NGOs and to the government of Liberia help rescue this child from his suffering.
Today in this editorial, we join Hawa, Mrs. Charlesetta Williams and Michael, the child himself, in appealing to all whose hearts this pitiful story has touched, to come forward and do something to help relieve little Michael of his suffering.
Remember, Michael's suffering is no fault of his mother or himself, but one of those unexplainable conditions associated with birth and childhood.
We consider it a blessing that Dr. Bartum N. Kulah has indicated that a surgical team lead by Dr. Paul King will be traveling to Liberia on March 29th. Dr. Kulah is willing to lead the mother and child to Dr. King and his team to see what they can do to help. It may very well be that the team may not come sufficiently equipped for dealing with Michael's problem. Should that be the case, we are sure that they would recommend where to send him and his mother for a permanent solution. Even then, there will be need for humanitarians to come forward with money for air tickets and accommodations.
Whatever the case, we appeal to all people of goodwill to kindly reach out and help this innocent child and his mother, so that he may restored perfect health and to begin to lead a normal life again. This will also enable his teenage mother to find her way back to school in order to better prepare herself for the proper raising of her son.
May the good Lord touch the hearts of some caring and compassionate souls to come forward and do something to rescue Michal from this terrible malady? You can be sure that the Lord will richly reward whoever comes forward to help. Remember the hymnal reassurance, "No toil for Him (God) shall be in vain."