Meet our first child, Benson Mushi.
When we met 12-year-old Benson, he had started having back pain 6 years ago, and was almost paralyzed. He couldn’t walk, couldn’t sleep, and you couldn’t give him a hug because he was in so much pain. He was kicked out of school and asked not to return, "until his back is better". He had visited every hospital in his region and no one could provide a diagnosis, much less do his complicated spinal surgery.
That's where Stand Tall came in. Masha connected Benson with Dr. Ohenebe Boachie-Adjei, a surgeon from New York City's Hospital of Special Surgery and founder of FOCOS Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Dr. Boachie generously donated Benson's spinal surgery and successfully placed 8 metal implants in Benson's spine that enable him to walk, play, return to school, and live the life of a healthy little boy.
We met Samweli attending the nursery school at Jipe Moyo.
He is being raised by a wonderful loving mother, who supports her family on just a few dollars a day. Paying for good schooling was not something that she could afford. As a result of his new sponsor, Samweli attends an English speaking school. He is getting excellent grades and loves riding the bus to school everyday.
Upendo is an HIV positive teenager, who was ashamed to go to her local clinic for treatment because she was afraid someone at school would find out that she was HIV positive. Her lack of treatment resulted in a large and painful facial tumor that made her too embarrassed to leave the house. Stand Tall connected Upendo with a visiting volunteer doctor who treated her tumor and also started her on medication for HIV treatment. Today, she is a normal, healthy girl who loves to smile and is living a vibrant life in her village.
Nalari (8 years old) was born with her spinal problem and had problems walking and crawling even as an infant. Today, she has severe breathing problems and can’t walk more than a few feet without getting out of breath. Doing normal kid things is completely out of the question.
David (10 years old) saw a doctor last year because his family noticed a problem with his back. After an unsuccessful surgery, the hospital told his family to look outside of the country because they could not help him. His case is very severe and without surgery he will become paralyzed.
Andrew’s (12 years old) mother first saw his condition at 3 yrs old, and took him to a doctor who gave him medication. When he didn’t improve, the doctor sent him home saying there was nothing more to do. Today, he says it hurts everyday. He can’t walk more than a short distance or even sit to do his school work.