TBN Helps Change a Disfigured Woman's Face in Africa
** God is Good **
(Update) -- A large LESION that disfigured the face of a Mdantsane woman in Africa has been removed, giving her hope, and a new lease on life!
"I couldn’t face people outside . . ."
After Surgery Photo!
SCALPEL SKILL: Several sponsors, including TBN helped Dadewabo Mqukusa undergo plastic surgery that removed a huge lesion covering the left side of her face, including part of her mouth.
Four years ago the Daily Dispatch reported how the entire left side of Dadewabo Mqukusa's forehead, eye, cheek and lip were covered by a red lesion which had been growing bigger since she was a child.
Mqukusa was born with a birth defect known as haemangioma, a non-cancerous tumour that can occur in the liver or gut or on the skin.
After years of enduring stares and harsh comments about her features she finally sought medical help for her problem.
"Long before the surgery I started going to Dr Vivien Espray and she said she may be able to help me," said Mqukusa.
Espray contacted plastic surgeon Dr Tertius Venter, who agreed to perform the plastic surgery needed to fix Mqukusa's face free of charge.
The only hurdle they faced at the time was the R35000 needed for Mqukusa's hospital bill.
The Dispatch came to her rescue by publishing a series of articles on the young woman' s plight, which resulted in a generous sponsor offering to donate money to cover all of her medical expenses.
Other organizations also offered their help, resulting in the operations going ahead as planned.
"TBN Network also helped raise funds. Through their initiative called Siyanceda iAfrica ("We are helping Africa"), they managed to raise R45000 to help me " said Mqukusa.
There were also other donations from the public, too, that went towards paying Mqukusa's hospital stay and medical expenses.
Mqukusa describes the surgery as "hard" and "extremely painful".
"The first operation was the hardest," she said.
"It felt like I was dying. My face was all bandaged up and I couldn't breathe.
"I was in so much pain."
"My neck was also painful, and I couldn't move it from side to side."
She said the following operations were somewhat easier, although there were some minor complications that resulted in what should have been three operations becoming four.
"I had to undergo another surgery but they didn't really explain to me what the reason was," Mqukusa said. "But the others were a lot better than the first. At least then I knew what to expect."
Following the operations Mqukusa was taken in by the owner of a Southernwood guesthouse who hosted the recovering patient free of charge for a week.
"That woman was great. A lot of people were good to me. Even when I was at the hospital there were a lot of people visiting me, bringing me food and wishing me well. These were people I didn't even know."
Mqukusa said she did receive support from her family, although initially they were afraid for her life.
"My parents tell me that I had an operation to fix my face when I was seven years old at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital," Mqukusa said. "The operation didn't go well. My face took a long time to heal after the first surgery and the surgeons told my mother that if I have another one I might die. She also worried about my collarbone because after the surgery at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital I had a constant pain in my neck."
But Mqukusa said they supported her after the first operation as they had high hopes that everything would go well.
And now Mqukusa reports that her life has changed for the better.
"I feel free now. I feel better about my face. I am even looking for work now, when before I was afraid to even face people outside of my family."
Mqukusa has a message of hope for those facing similar life challenges.
She said: "Don't lose hope. One day something good may happen. I had also lost hope, but look how well my situation turned out."
Link to orginal article: http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=347032
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