A New Year With New Hope

When Aliou was three years old, his family was getting ready to send him and his twin sister to school. Tragically, everything changed when Aliou’s blanket caught fire one morning, enveloping him in flames.

Without access to proper medical care and treatment, his skin began to contract, limiting his ability to move his right arm. His condition prevented him from attending school, and his family feared for his future. Thankfully, Aliou’s grandmother heard that Mercy Ships was in nearby Dakar, Senegal, and may be able to help.

“I was living with hope”, recalled Aliou’s grandmother, but I didn’t expect to have the opportunity for my grandson to be healed for free and with such quality care.”

After receiving reconstructive surgery to repair his burn contracture, Aliou began physical therapy to work on the range of movement in his shoulder. When he wasn’t in rehab, he scampered around the wards, bouncing a beach ball and making everyone smile.

“Aliou lights up the room when he walks in”, says Francesca, Aliou’s volunteer physical therapist.

After his surgery and a series of wound care and rehabilitation appointments, Aliou’s arm is now healed! This smiling five-year-old has endured a great deal of pain in his short life so far – but his cheerful spirit and enduring smile has lasted through it all.

“Everything he could not do before, he does now,” says Aliou’s grandmother.

Now back home, Aliou is playing with friends, helping in his family’s peanut field, and soon he will be joining his sister at school!

Thank you to all the Mercy Ships partners from around the world who contributed to Aliou’s recovery, and restored his future!

Written by: Andrea Gilbert