“A little warrior who never gave up” – Lino walks again

Stories | July 8, 2021

For many of us, climbing trees is part of our childhood memory. We look back in fondness on the time spent high amongst the leaves, watching the world go by, without a care in the world. For Lino, however, a young boy from South Sudan, climbing trees was a memory he would rather forget.

In 2014, when Lino was just nine years old, he and his friends were playing and climbing trees when he fell and cut his leg open. To clean the wounds, Lino washed his leg in the nearby river. But that night, his leg began to swell, causing him a lot of pain. The following morning, his father and uncle took him to a nearby hospital for treatment, however, no one at that hospital knew how to treat the injury.

Still in pain, Lino and his family visited a second hospital, where they removed the fluid in the swelling. That night, Lino got a fever, and the pain increased. Between the chills, sweat and tears, Lino’s father took Lino to a traditional medicine doctor, but once again, this did not help. The wounds became infected, and the smell became nauseating. Lino’s condition deteriorated, and his family feared he might die.

Lino and his family had almost lost all hope of finding treatment. That was until they met someone who had attended an awareness session run by a worker from CBM’s partner.

They told Lino and his family to go to Usratuna – a CBM-supported health centre for children with disabilities. CBM had worked with partners in Juba, South Sudan, to support people at risk of disability and to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities through the promotion of rights and access to health and rehabilitation services, inclusive education and livelihood opportunities.

Lino arrived with a wooden stick tied to his leg. He was examined and given a treatment plan and crutches. Lino spent the following year having his wounds treated until they healed. Then, in early 2020, he was referred to a hospital in Uganda for x-rays and surgery. Hospitals in South Sudan were so poorly equipped the operation could not be done there.

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit and borders closed, Lino’s three-week hospital stay turned into four months. Fortunately, Lino was in the good hands of the medical team, who took great care of him and noted how brave he was, describing him as: “a warrior who never gave up and had so much courage”.

In July 2020, CBM partners brought Lino back to South Sudan, where he received weekly dressings and then physiotherapy. Although Lino needed one more surgery in Uganda, he can now stand, walk and move independently. Having access to proper medical care has prevented permanent disability. Lino is now able to enjoy time with friends and watch as his uncle builds things in his carpentry shop.

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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