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“I was just favored by God for this one”—Kumba Bawa

Kumba Bawa slowly staggered to her feet, managed to lay herself gingerly on the hospital bed. She looked pale but wore a dim smile that lit up her beautiful face. Bawa, in her late thirties, has had fibroid surgery before, but doctors told her that she needed another surgery for the same condition.

She has spent lots of money in the past to address her health problem, all to no avail. At one point, doctors advised to remove her womb but she refused, keeping faith that one day God will work miracle in her life. This was exactly how it turned out to be. She was one of many people who benefited from free surgeries done by the Sierra Leone Diaspora-led United States based Saving Lives Initiatives (SLI).

Last month, the volunteer team of highly skilled humanitarian medical personnel spent five days carrying out free surgical procedures at Aberdeen Women’s Center, Connaught Hospital, King Herman Road Maternity Hospital and training of healthcare professionals at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH). In just one week, SLI completed 77 free surgeries at three different hospitals. The procedures included 10 laparoscopic surgeries, a minimally invasive technique, 58 general and orthopedic surgeries and 9 open gynecological surgeries.

Bawa speaks of how grateful she is to have benefited from this free humanitarian service.

“I was just favored by God for this one. Because to get this kind of opportunity is not easy.” According to her, she could have paid at least ten million Leones for the surgery. This is more than a one-year minimum salary in Sierra Leone.

“A poor women like me, where would I get that amount of money from,” she wondered. Bawa could have lost her life, had it not been for the intervention of SLI’s tenth mission to Sierra Leone.

“I always want them to come back,” she says. She went on; “This same condition killed my elder sister. I always had that fear at the back of my mind. Sometimes I cried within myself. When I cry for some time, I would pick up courage and say to myself that the same will not happen to me.”

Bawa and the other beneficiaries did not pay for anything. They went through thorough screenings and those who were selected benefited from the services for free.

You can listen to Bawa’s full story in this audio.

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