Tigist is a little girl who is 11 months old. The name Tigist means “patience.” Her mother is a young woman who loves her little girl very much. Her mother was taken by force and “married” illegally, meaning the man took her, raped her, and forced her to stay with him. Eventually she became pregnant. When the pregnancy became obvious to her “husband,” he no longer had use for her and kicked her out. According to the predominant religions of this area, it is not allowed to have sex with a pregnant woman, so she was dismissed.
Tigist is the apple of her mother’s eye – which is obvious when you see them together. However, when Tigist was just a few months old, she had an accident with boiling water and was badly burned. Her left leg sustained substantial burns. Her mother brought her to the hospital, where they dressed and splinted Tigist’ leg. Follow-up care was not available, and as the splint became foul and had to be removed, the mother did the best she could with dressing the wound, but supplies for that sort of thing are non-existent in the countryside.
The leg healed into a stiff scar that fused Tigist’s lower leg to the thigh. She would never learn to walk or run if not corrected. Thankfully, Tigist’s mother heard about the CURE hospital, where treatment for her little girl was offered for free. Burns and burn scars are a big problem in Ethiopia. They are common because cooking is usually done on the floor of a home – on a fire – where it is very easy for a little one to stumble into danger. The care for burns is scarce; most patients wait years for appropriate care for any surgical problem, and even then, burns are unlikely to be treated because of the length of care and amount of resources needed to treat burns appropriately.
We are so thankful that Tigist was brought to CURE early enough in her childhood that she could learn to run and walk with other children her age. Too often, we get children that are elementary age, but have not had the use of their arms or legs since infancy because of untreated burns.
Some other pics of recent patients…
16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Originally posted at: http://ethiopia.thebernards.org/2012/05/01/patience/.