Country: Senegal

Age: 6

Surgery: Orthopaedic

Share Sira’s story

New Life, New Hope

It’s every parent’s joy to see their baby take their first steps.

Binti and Ibrahima, two devoted parents in Senegal, have always been proud of their daughter Sira. But as she grew, something began to trouble them. She struggled to walk and stand. When Sira was six, her legs had bowed outwards.

“Sira was always so friendly, but when people started staring, she became so shy,” her mother, Binti, remembers. “She wasn’t happy. I was always worried, because at school her friends used to laugh at her. I am supposed to protect her from those things.”
Sira before surgery with her grandmother
Sira, 6 year old orthopedics patient, and her grandmother Fanseyni.

Binti and Ibrahima fought hard to find treatment for Sira. They took her to a local hospital. Doctors suspected her legs had bowed because her family didn’t have enough food to eat. Every medical visit came at a high cost, but still they had no real help.

Her parents prayed for healing. And Sira never gave up hope. She dreamt that one day she could run and play with her friends.

Thanks to you, and many kind people like you, all their prayers were answered. Her parents heard of our hospital ship in Senegal that offered free, life-changing surgery.

Sira in the rehab tent.
Sira in the rehab tent.

Holding tight to her grandmother’s hand, Sira nervously walked up the steps to the Mercy Ship. But soon, the crew onboard felt like one big family. She made the nurses laugh as she blew bubbles on her hospital bed. She felt loved and lifted up in their care.

It was a simple operation to repair and straighten her legs. After surgery, she started her 12-week journey to recovery. Sira was so determined as she took steps on her own. Nothing would hold her back.

Sira blowing bubbles while sitting on a hospital bed
Sira celebrated her first cast change with bubbles in the in-patient treatment room.
Sira using a walking frame during physical therapy after her surgery
Sira practiced walking in the ward after her surgery, helped by the crew of physical therapists and nurses
Our expert crew delighted in seeing Sira’s recovery. Laura, her physiotherapist, reflected: “Leaving the hospital is like the first step into her future.”
Sira using a walking frame during physiotherapy after her casts have been removed
Sira walks for the first time without her casts in the rehab tent with the help of the crew in the rehab centre.
Sira after her surgery holding a football
Sira before her final discharge.

Back home, her father had not seen his precious Sira for three months. “When I first saw her, I lifted her up and just kept looking at her again and again. I could not believe I was seeing her like that.”

Now, Sira smiles as she plays football with her friends in the sunshine. She loves going to school. It makes her heart soar to do everything she always dreamed of. This is the dawn of a new life for Sira, full of hope and possibility.

Sira with her father, Ibrahima, at home in Sedhiou.
Sira with her father, Ibrahima, at home in Sedhiou.
Her mother Binti says, “She is so very happy. Things have changed, now she can go wherever she wants. I really appreciate everything you did for my Sira.”
Sira after surgery at school
Sira at school in her village in the region of Sedhiou.

Your support brings new life and new hope to children like Sira. This spring, will you help more families who need urgent medical help? Please give today and help a child start their first steps to healing.