Surgery saves Amina’s life thanks to Diagrama, Dentists Without Borders and Bellvitge Hospital

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The collaboration among Diagrama Spain and Dentists Without Borders allowed the detection, last March, of Amina’s case, a Senegalese girl from the Region of Thiès who presented a serious ameloblastoma, a benign tumour of odontogenic epithelium that stopped her from eating solid food, putting her life at risk. After identifying it, both organisations decided together to move Amina to Barcelona for urgent maxillofacial reconstruction surgery –exceptional in Spain- at Bellvitge University Hospital.

Since her arrival in Spain, in April 3, Amina has been accompanied by a foster family provided by Barcelona Yoire Association, with whom she spent her time in Spain. After several medical tests, the first intervention was agreed for May 9. One month later, the second operation was carried out, successfully completing the tumour extraction and the jaw reconstruction. Amina, who will now be able to chew normally, will stay in Spain until she is fully recovered.

This action took place in the framework of the Collaboration among Diagrama Spain and Dentists Without Borders, which last joint activity, developed developed last Christmas, allowed a Health Aid programme in the rural community of Sandiara (Senegal). In total, 1,200 people were treated of their oral issues and nearly 3,000 free interventions were carried out. Besides, a workshop of illness prevention and oral hygiene was led by the professionals. This initiative was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Senegalese Association Diante Bou Bess, in the premises they have in the area.

This is the thank-you letter Amina sent to the President of Dentists Without Borders in Spain:

Dear director of Dentists Without Borders,

It’s me, Amina, I’m 33 years old and live in Senegal, in the area of Mbour, near Sandiara. I have an illness that has lasted about 15 years. I tried to cure it going everywhere. Since the, I live with my aunt and my husband. My aunt used to cry every day due to my illness. Indeed, I also used think I would never cure, and begging God for a miracle.

In addition, my husband abandoned me and our three children: Lamine, Moussa and Thierno. My children sometimes look at me and ask “mum, what’s wrong?” and I say “nothing” so that they may not see my suffer, and I hide to cry. I tried surgery in 2009 but it didn’t work. Suddenly, one day I heard about some doctors who used to cure people for free in Sandiara, so I went and met Babacour – President of Diante Bou Bess, Diagrama’s local counterpart in Senegal-. I asked him if I could see the dentists and he said they had run out of tickets, so I begged the ‘white’ would see me and could show him my illness. He asked me to wait there, and he called Nacho and Paula.

They were impacted when they saw me. The asked me if I had documentation and I went to Mbour for it. I gave it to them and begged for their help. Nacho told me they would do all they could. Back home, I begged God their aid would work.

Not even 3 months later, they looked alter me and took me to Barcelona. When I saw my passport and my visa, I couldn’t believe this was true and, however, it was. Once in Barcelona, Paula and Nacho welcomed me and I told my self that I was finally going to be cured. They took me to Ana and Miguel’s home. They hosted me as if I was a princess, they wanted me to be always happy. They were so kind that they even showed me the city. They were really generous and I’ll never forget it.

Hernán use to call me all the time and take me anywhere. I thank him a lot. Every time I had an appointment in Hospital, Paula took me there. Indeed, she assisted me on the surgery day. After surgery, Doctors Arnau Morla and Antonio Marí were so kind. I’ll never forget what I saw in Barcelona and I hope that, someday, I’ll go back to this city. You’r part of me, I’ll never forget you. God bless you!

Thanks to the NGO Dentists Without Borders