JANVIÈRE 2 – POST-SURGERY DILEMMA
The disaster:on February 1st 2018 Janvière suffered a terrible injury when an overhead beam structure collapsed & fell on her. The accident left her with a broken back.
A second disaster: The accident happened in Bujumbura, capital city of Burundi. A place in the middle of civil unrest. Friends took her to a public (military-run) hospital, but she’s from a poor family, with no means to pay for surgery. The doctor in charge told her: “You’re paralyzed for life. There’s nothing we can do for you here”. This was only partially true – Janvière still had some movement of her legs, and wasn’t yet fully paralyzed! An operation could help.
Stepping in - Finding Treatment: A friend close to Janvière had left for Rwanda, to escape the unrest and civil war. Misca and Janvière grew up practically as sisters. When disaster struck she shared the news with me and some other friends. We had little money, but knew something must be done - and it had to be done quickly! We would try to raise funds while we figured out where to take her for surgery. India? Europe or North America? Much closer to home turned out to be best: the King Faisal Hospital in Kigali, which had the neurosurgeons and facilities to operate on Janvière’s back!
The Operation:She underwent successful surgery to her Lower Spine (Lumbar L1) on Monday the 1st of October! Two friends from Burundi and I were there the whole time. That was a long, nail-biting kind of day. Late that evening Dr. David Hakizimana, the lead neurosurgeon on the operating team, gave us the good news: “The operation was successful. Janvière is recovering in the post-surgery ward”.
Raising Funds online - A huge wave of Thanks for those who helped!!The crowd-funder who hosted our funding request is called GoGetFunding. Based in the UK they made it possible for 14 backers to raise $1,025 towards the $8,000 needed. A HUGE thanks to all who gave so generously!!
Post-Surgery Progress: Janvière spent a month in hospital after her operation, and then we took her to live in with another family from Burundi (refugees themselves). It gave her an important social support system. A physiotherapist, Dr. Morris, was found to come and give 5 weekly sessions each week. As I write this (26th Februay 2019) Janvière is able to move around the house using a rolling wheelchair, and she’s learning to use crutches. She uses WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends and family back in Burundi, and has started to learn some English via apps on the internet.
Post-Surgery Dilemma & Prognosis: As a Burundi national residing in Rwanda, Janvière continues to have no access to medical insurance or state hospital subsidies. She’s wholly dependent on the goodwill of friends. Physiotherapist Dr. Morris is optimistic that, given Janvière’s determined efforts, she will be able to walk without crutches in 6 months’ time. We’re hopeful that Janvière will have greater opportunities to help herself, and to pursue her own pathway to a successful future. That’s why your generosity in supporting the campaign to cover Janvière medical expenses has been so important!
Where Your Help can make all the Difference:The bill for surgery and post-surgery time spent in King Faisal Hospital came to $6,550. After your generous donations we’re still left with $ 5,550. To cover the next 6 months we’ll need $ 1,696 for Maintenance and Support. Added to the debt repayment we’re hoping to raise $ 6,311. Please help us raise the funds to cover the shortfall by continuing to share Janvière’s plight among your friends, and ask them to contribute.
Thank you so much on behalf of Janvière for helping her along the way.
Every Cent and Dollar Counts!