Sara lives with her mother, Vivian, and her 3 brothers about 60kms north of Antananarivo. She had been playing under the living room table with her siblings in 2019 when an oil lamp tipped over and set the table and Sara on fire. Local hospitals attempted to treat her injuries but without success, she was in need of surgery.
Lack of surgery funds
Life has been hard for the family. Vivian is partially blind and unable to work. Earlier this year they lost their home to a cyclone, and they have not had the funds to rebuild their home in addition to paying for Sara’s earlier surgery. But hope appeared on the horizon.
Nehemia, a Christian relief organisation, received funds to send Sara, now sixteen, for treatment at the HVM hospital, Mandritsara, well known for its medical expertise and care.
Sara and Vivian left home via taxi-brousse (bush taxi) as soon as they could, travelling the 558km overland to reach the hospital. Doctor Jeshiah Theissen, who performed the operation, shared, “Sarah’s mother called us the day they left, 3 hours into the trip, asking if it was normal that they hadn’t arrived yet. We had to explain that the trip would take 56 hours and not 3 hours.” Though the trip was long, thankfully they arrived safely.
Delighted and joyful
After the successful operation, and 8 weeks recovering in Mandritsara, MAF was called upon to fly Sara and Vivian home. It was their first experience in a plane, and they were more than delighted!
The flight took just 1 hour and 20 minutes, in contrast to 56-hour overland journey they had taken earlier.
Three different organisations participated in transforming Sara’s life through this surgery and returning her home safely. As Patrick Keller, MAF’s Country Director, shares,