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SPAIN: Boy receives life-changing surgery

Young boy from Don Bosco Fambul in Sierra Leone receives surgery to aid in his mobility


(MissionNewswire) Emmanuel, a 12-year-old boy from Sierra Leone, has a new lease on life thanks to the medical team of Dr. Pedro Guillén, the CEMTRO Clinic in Madrid and many volunteers. Emmanuel was born with a leg disability and was abandoned by his mother. After being abused by his family, he ran away from home and survived on the streets. It was there that Salesian missionaries found him.

Emmanuel was asked to join Don Bosco Fambul, located in Sierra Leone’s capital city of Freetown and one of the country’s leading child-welfare organizations. Over the past two years, his life has changed. He has found an environment free from discrimination where he studies and dreams of becoming a soccer player. Thanks to his recent operation, he is now able to walk normally and “be like everyone else” as he has said.

The plan was put into place last summer, and volunteers worked to make the trip to Spain and the surgery possible. Emmanuel arrived in Madrid on April 22. On April 26 he was admitted to the operating room of the CEMTRO Clinic and underwent a successful surgery. Guillén explained, “We were clear that it had to be an operation on the soft parts, without touching the bone, although we realized that the bone was also affected after years of resting the leg badly.”

Dozens of volunteers, including the staff of the CEMTRO Clinic, and university students from Francisco de Vitoria and CEU-San Pablo Universities, took turns spending time with Emmanuel, going on walks, and playing games. A nurse said, “He arrived as a weak child and in these few weeks he has grown, gained weight, and has shown that he is very intelligent and adapts very well to any situation.”

In just a few weeks, Emmanuel experienced things he never imagined, including seeing snow for the first time, attending a Real Madrid game, and receiving a jersey with his name on it from the president of the Real Madrid club. For the past month, Emmanuel has spent most of his time with a foster family and has only gone to the hospital for rehabilitation. He has integrated seamlessly with his new siblings and has begun to enjoy his time being like everyone else.

The medical team will continue to follow him over the next year. Emmanuel will have to wear an insole in his shoe to walk properly and continue to strengthen his muscles. Next year, he may return to Spain for another corrective operation, but in the meantime, at Don Bosco Fambul everyone is waiting for him.

Salesian Father Jorge Crisafulli, former rector of Don Bosco Fambul and now provincial of the new Africa Nigeria Niger Province, said, “Thank you to all those who make these miracles possible. The world is a little more beautiful with each of these boys and the miracle of Don Bosco Fambul continues. We are all together part of this dream and we are the miracle in motion.”



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Spain – Emmanuel, Freetown street boy whose life has changed thanks to a leg operation


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