“I’d like Handicap International to help other children going through the same ordeal”

  • Rehabilitation
  • DR Congo

Glody, 2, lives in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was born with a neck deformity the size of a football, which made even the slightest movements difficult. With support from Handicap International, Glody has now been operated on. He attends rehabilitation sessions and has got the spring back in his step.

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Two-year-old Glody with his mum. Democratic Republic of Congo.
Two-year-old Glody with his mum. Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two-year-old Glody lives in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with his parents and four brothers and sisters. “He was born with a giant cyst on the right side of his neck, the size of a football. He found it difficult to move around and couldn’t run or really lift anything. It was such an ordeal. It makes me want to cry again just thinking about it,” says his mother, Christine. In fact, Glody was suffering from what’s called a congenital axillary and neck cystic mass which made the first two years of his life very hard.  

In November 2014, Handicap International’s mobile clinics arrived in Kinshasa  where they were providing care to people living in areas without health or rehabilitation centres. They came across Glody at the Sarefta health centre, in the district of Selembao, in the south of Kinshasa, where they examined his cyst and took him to the El Rapha clinic. He was then operated on with help from Handicap International.

“His surgery went really well. Although Glody sometimes finds it hard to move his right shoulder, he’s had an enormous weight taken off him. He can move around, play and walk just like the other children. We’re assisting him because he still needs rehabilitation sessions and has to make regular trips to the hospital. But it has made a huge difference to his life, and to his whole family,” explains Sébastien Kasongo, Handicap International’s rehabilitation project manager in DRC. “Our next priority is to make sure he goes to school like any other child.”

The operation was a big relief for Glody’s family: “Life isn’t particularly easy for us. My husband was robbed. We lost one of our daughters when she was nine. And looking after Glody took up a lot of time. His operation was trying, but it has given him a lot of freedom. I’ve finally started eating again and getting some sleep. I’ve even put on a bit of weight. We’ve got our lives back again,” explains his mother.

“May the Lord bless Handicap International and may it continue to help other children who are going through the same ordeal.”

Published 17/08/15

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