A single mother’s nightmare

After loosing a son and brother, nothing could prepare mum Charlotte and 6-year-old daughter Elina for another tragedy. While Elina visited her Aunt to attend a festival, what was suppose to be a joyous weekend turned into yet another tragedy. She was burned in a fire affecting her right side, contracting her neck and pulling her head down in the direction of her right elbow.

Elina after surgery

Heartbroken Charlotte was determined to help her only remaining child and sold the families possessions, including the land they used for farming to pay for Elina to be admitted into a hospital in Tana. The money would only last a month before they were discharged, due to lack of funds and sent home.

Things seemed hopeless, but finally luck would be on their side when a Ward Nurse, Ria Bos told them about Mercy Ships. They made their way to the HOPE (Hospital Out-Patient Extension) Center, a permanent structure that is set up to promote effective recovery while maintaining easy access to the ship for follow-up care. At that time, the screening team was using the building prior to the ships arrival and helped change Elina’s bandages three times a week, until she was approved for surgery.

Elina with nurse

The little ball of energy pulled the heartstrings of the staff with her sweet smile and constant movement despite her mobility problems. Prior to coming to the ship Charlotte recalled the regular tears and streaks of pain that Elina would experience due to her burns. But, feeding off her new environment, Elina would hop around the ship, still unable to move her arm or neck, but full of excitement.

Elina playing

In January, the Plastics team, which we talked about previously performed Elina’s surgery. Although the surgery led to a long recovery process, the little family now has hope that they will function together normally and Charlotte’s wish for her daughters’ health and healing has come true.