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17-year-old girl seeks support to undergo overseas treatment

Aug 17, 2015, 12:14 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Fatoumatta Baldeh, a 17-year-old girl residing in Tallinding and her father, Bakary Baldeh, have once again called for support from individuals and institutions to help the girl undergo overseas medical operation.

A medical report from the medical board of Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), dated 23 October 2014, stated that Ms Baldeh has difficulty in walking and back pain which radiates to the legs, and could not walk now.

The girl’s predicament is as a result of an accident she was involving at the age of 14, when she was knocked down by a vehicle and sustained injuries and pain thereafter.

In the medical report, the chief medical director confirmed that the girl’s condition is deteriorating and her back pain is aggravating to the extent that it makes it very difficult for her to stand; she now uses wheelchair to move about.

She is diagnosed with what is medically known as paraparesis, secondary to stenosis of the vertebral canal of the human spine.

Speaking to The Point newspaper on Sunday at her residence in Tallinding, Ms Baldeh recalled that the accident took place when she was on her way with colleagues for a ‘Salibo’ during Tobaski feast and got hit by a taxi on the right leg.

“At that moment, I did not feel the pain so I refused to go to a health centre even though the driver wanted to take me for a medical check-up,” Ms Baldeh said.

Four years after the accident, it was found out that the car damaged some tissues in the leg of the girl.

The Banjul hospital said they have surgeons who can operate on the young girl but there is no surgical equipment to facilitate the operation.So Ms Baldeh was recommended for an overseas treatment.

The 17-year-old said despite her earlier call for help through the media, no support had so far come but she still remains hopeful that someone somewhere, or private institutions and the government would come to her aid for medical support.

Bakary Baldeh, father to the girl, said Fatoumatta was at grade 6 at Tallinding Arabic School when she started to feel the pain and would always find it very difficult to walk.

“It was then that we first went to the EFSTH and then to MRC but MRC later referred us back to the EFSTH,” the father said.“After months of going and coming, we were told by the doctors at the hospital in Banjul that they have seen the problem but they cannot treat it; even though they have the expertise, they don’t have the equipment to do the operation.”

Mr Baldeh said the medical board of EFSTH then wrote a medical report for Fatoumatta to be taken for overseas treatment.

He said that since then, they have done everything possible to seek assistance for Fatoumatta to undergo the overseas treatment to be able to walk again but to no avail.

“Once again, I am calling on the private and public institutions, the government, philanthropists and the good people of The Gambia and beyond to come to my daughter’s aid so that she can walk again,” the worried father said.

Any potential supporter can reach the family on (+220) 9992534 / 6662534 / 9415192.