By The Liberia News Agency
(LINA) – For eleven years, Fatu Washington, a resident of Joseph Town in Tubmanburg City, Bomi County lived in agony as she struggled with a facial lump (Burkitt lymphoma) that disfigured her face beyond recognition.
Burkitt lymphoma is a rare but highly aggressive (fast-growing) B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that affects the jaw and other parts of the body.
Subjected to rejections and bullies, Fatu has long cried for help and just when it was almost obvious that there were no solutions to her problem; then a miraculous intervention by Healing Liberia Foundation-a local health NGO headed by Madam Benita Urey, the daughter of a Liberian farmer and politician interceded on her behalf.
Healing Liberia Foundation (HLFf) performed a lifesaving surgery, removing Fatu’s facial tumor and as she recovers, the Liberia News Agency (LINA) which earlier did a Panorama series that brought Fatu’s ailment to the spotlight followed-up in an interview with Madam Urey amidst her organization’s effort to save the life of a fellow Liberian.
Madam Urey, who is Chief Executive Officer of Healing Liberia Foundation, told LINA In an interview on Wednesday that she heard about Fatu’s story through social media (The LINA Facebook Podcast), noting that it is through such means that her organization recruits most of its patients.
The surgery on Fatu, she disclosed, was done at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia by Dr. Tabeh Freeman and Dr. Tresor Mabanza who she described as professional surgical doctors.
Madam Urey disclosed that Fatu’s life saving surgery came after the Healing Liberia Foundation saw the need to rescue her through surgical means.
According to Madam Urey, her foundation was launched on April 29, 2020, and has been providing healthcare for less fortunate Liberians for close to two years.
Madam Urey said she remains committed to her duty with the hope that one day Liberia will get better to keep her inspired to do more.
“I’m not quiet about the work, per sé. People are just choosing what to pay attention to. We spread the good work we do all over social media; from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook,” Madam Urey explained.
The CEO of Healing Liberia Foundation believes that her parents and other parents and prayers will keep her going.
She disclosed that they have done about 17 successful surgeries on Liberians whose parents are unable to afford.
Many top past and current politicians in Bomi County promised to take Fatu abroad for surgery, but they all reneged on their promises, making her condition worsen on a daily basis.
While Fatu was living with that tumor many of her friends mocked her condition, and many close friends left her because of her disorder.
“People mock me too much. They are always pointing fingers at me, saying “look at the girl with one of her eyes big and the other one small,” Fatu, who is a mother of two, narrated her ordeal when she first encountered LINA in June 2020.
She told LINA that as the result of the medical condition she was forced to quit high school but only gathered the courage due to constant encouragement from her family to return and complete her high school education.
Amidst the difficulties, Fatu narrated that life got even more difficult when the father of her two kids died in 2019 leaving her with the burden of fending for the kids as a single mother.
Meanwhile, as Fatu recovers, the Liberia News Agency has set a later date to get comments from her.
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