5 December 2012

Liberia: Victoria Appeals for Help

A 26-year old woman with a broken spinal cord for 22 years is appealing for assistance to undergo a surgery and remove the rocket's particles in her spine. Victoria Samdal Davies was 4 years old when rocket from one of the warring factions during the course of the Liberian conflict struck their residence and wounded her.

Since then, Victoria has been bedridden. She only sees day-light when it's time to bath; besides, she remains indoor from January to December without an opportunity to have at least firsthand experiences of happenings around her.

She told this paper Tuesday at their rented residence in Logan Town, Monrovia that her spinal cord broke at their former residence in the Jamaica Road community on 27 August 1990.

"It is the particles from one of the warring factions' rocket that hit our house and exploded, breaking my spinal cord when I was just 4 years," she emotionally explained in tears.

Victoria recalled that the incident occurred as peacekeepers from the Economic Community of West African States dubbed ECOMOG landed on the shores of Liberia, were opposed by the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) at the Freeport of Monrovia on 24 August 1990.

In the aftermath of the incident, she sought treatment at various local hospitals, including St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital, Merlin Clinic, Swedish Relief, and Red Cross, amongst others.

But from an x-ray conducted for the first time by the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital, Victoria is barely able to stand with support from clutches.

"Saint Joseph's Catholic Hospital's doctors advised that I [should] seek advanced treatment to remove those particles in my spine," she noted.

The hospital (Catholic) did volumes of x-rays on the victim in 1997, 98, 99, 2000 up to 2010, and the results proved the same that she carries particles in her spine, which at times makes her feet to swell, with recommendation that she needs advanced treatment abroad.

Victoria first gained medical attention for two weeks from the ECOMOG's Ghanaian contingent at their Free Zone Headquarters on Bushrod Island between 1992 and 93.

"I do not know how Monrovia looks physically, but mentally I am told by radio and friends, who many at times visit and share with me", she added.

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