Ghana: Life without limbs… but ten year old amputee looks forward to the future with hope

A ten year old girl’s dream of becoming a teacher now hangs in the balance after she lost both legs in a motor accident at Agyareago, near Konongo-Odumase in the Ashanti Region.

Life without limpsLeticia Aduako, a class two pupil was crushed by a car driven by an unlicensed driver, resulting in the amputation of her limbs, just below her hips, at the Komfo Teaching Hospital.

Two years after the accident, Leticia is optimistic of living her dream, despite challenges from her physical limitation.

Nhyira Fm’s Ohemeng Tawiah has been following the life of the little girl, and has filed this report.

The suspected driver, Akwasi Appiah was behind the wheels for the first time when he ran into little Leticia and her friend.

They were playing at the backyard of their house when disaster struck.

The culprit is walking a freeman without prosecution by the Konongo police.

Doctors at the Komfo Teaching Hospital had to abandon other duties to attend to little Leticia immediately she was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance on that black day.

Experts are surprised she is still alive despite the toll of the accident on her. They say even adults hardly survive such situations with a survival rate of about one out of 100.

Dr. Ofei Larbi is a member of medical team that took care of little Leticia.

‘‘She was in a very bad state. The team at the time promptly responded and immediately took her to theater and try to save one of the limbs so we have to amputate the first limb’’,Dr Ofei said.

But the medical team, after playing the role of a good Samaritan had no option than to amputate the second limb to save little Leticia.

Dr. Ofei was surprised to see deteriorating condition of the little girl, the first time he had encountered such a condition in his profession as a medical doctor, saying, ‘‘that was the first time I was coming across such aseverely little girl’’.

In her condition, Leticia can neither use the urinal nor toilet, without support from her friends at John Ross Memorial School at Konongo-Odumase, where she schools.

Even then, she has to expose her disfigured frame by dismantling her artificial limb for which her poor parents spent five thousand Ghana cedis to buy.

This easily attracts sympathy from many first time visitors.

Two of her three Class Six friends carry her mid-air by hand to the seat of the toilet.

No doubt, Leticia does not belong here, a suggestion Dr. Ofei supports.

‘‘The environment in which she is now is not conducive for her, it is quiet unfriendly, and if you look at the school environment, access to playground, toilet facility, bathroom and even the layout of the school. She doesn’t belong there’’.

But Head teacher of John Ross Memorial Preparatory School at Konongo, Emmanuel Aboagye, disagrees to any attempts to transfer little Leticia to a special school.

While conceding the environment is not friendly to Leticia, he in out of what appears to be selfishness argues Leticia adds up to the school population.

He argues ‘‘no, no no! infact I wouldn’t like it’’ he told me.’I asked him why.

And he responded ‘‘why because she also make the enrollment of the class increases’’.

The grey looking Mr. Aboagye is confident Leticia deserves to be in his school. He told me he has been personally taken care of her, despite conceding facilities in the school are unfriendly to her.

‘‘If you say you are taken her out of the school, infact I wouldn’t like it and I would not be happy at all’’.

Leticia’s condition has also affected her academic performance and her relationship with other children, both in school and at home.

Teachers say except in Mathematics, she slipped in all subjects since her return from hospital.

But Leticia has not given up yet. She still holds on to her dream of becoming a teacher one day. But she must first battle loneliness.

‘‘I feel lonely when I am left alone in class during break hours. My mates will leave me alone in the class as they go out to eat’’ Little Leticia told me in sober words.

Even in the midst of the challenges, she consoles and motivates herself.

‘I can only play with them when they are back in class.I play football with these artificial limbs, sometimes I play ampe (game) by leaning on the wall, Leticia explained.

This perhaps explains why she has developed sores on her scars or may be because of the hardened nature of the artificial limbs on her body.

Letici’s father, Kwame Somuah, says he nearly abandoned her at the hospital when it dawned on him she would have to be permanently without her natural limbs.

Though he admits she needs special attention, his present financial position cannot support her.

He first thought of abandoning her at the hospital because he thought ‘‘ life without limbs would be useless for such a little girl’’.

‘‘We (parents) had several diabolical plans for this girl. We first thought because of her limbless condition, she was useless to society’’. I told myself she was not fit to live’’.

But Mr. Somuah is taken solace in given her daughter formal education to enable her face realities in life.

‘‘For now, I am relieved because she can survive all the challenges in life if she is given formal education…I believe with education, she can even make it in the absence of we the parents’’ he stated.

Until a miracle is conjured, life will continue to be sour to little Leticia.

Story by: Ohemeng Tawiah, Nhyira Fm/Kumasi-Ghana

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