Meet Salamatou and Mariama

There is no question that the views from Mount Manengouba in Cameroon are beautiful. However, for sisters Salamatou and Mariama, those sights were the only ones they had ever seen. Both suffering with crippling deformities, they had never left the village where they were born.

Journey to recovery

Because the girls did not have access to proper nutrition growing up, Salamatou and Mariama developed a condition known as windswept legs. The bones in their legs grew crooked and twisted.

The malformation made it difficult for them to walk, or even attend school.

“I was worried about their future,” recalled Mymoona, their mother.

Mymoona and her husband desperately wanted a better life for their daughters. Then, they heard about a ship offering free surgeries — a miracle that could heal both girls. They knew this was their chance to help their daughters, so for the first time, their entire family made the trek down the mountain to the port city.

After a long journey, they arrived at the Africa Mercy, where our volunteer surgeons performed surgery to repair the girls’ legs. Both operations were a success! During their recovery and therapy, the sisters helped each other through their healing.

Helping each other heal

Salamatou made it a competition to keep her younger sister’s spirits up through rehabilitation exercises. The sisters got stronger every day.

While the girls recovered, their parents received valuable information about childcare nutrition, which they took back to help other families in their village.

Thanks to the kindness of friends like you, Salamatou and Mariama are now back home — running, playing, and attending school every day on strong, sturdy legs. Now, their futures are brighter than ever!

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