Spina bifida survivor reaches out to victims

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Dorcas Margaret Madjitey

A survivor of spina bifida and hydrocephalus, Dorcas Margaret Madjitey, has made moves to reach out to people who are suffering from such health conditions. Spina bifida is a health condition that affects the spine, and is usually apparent at birth, while hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of fluid on the brain, which can lead to brain damage if left untreated.

Doctors at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital say the disease has succeeded in sending innocent babies to their early graves. But Ms Madjitey, who was lucky to survive the two diseases, has committed to reaching out to parents who give birth to kids with such conditions and to sensitise them on what to do to help the kids.

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Speaking to the Daily Statesman over the weekend at Ashaiman-Lebanon Zone 2, on the sidelines of activities to promote a foundation established for the purpose, Ms Madjitey explained that her personal experience moved her to set up the Dorcas Margaret Foundation (DMF) to focus on helping kids with such conditions.

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She said the Foundation is focused, among other things, on taking care of the cost of surgery for a 12-year-old boy who is suffering from hydrocephalus and thalassemia, medical conditions that lead to a build-up of fluid in the cavities within the brain, thereby putting pressure on the brain and causing brain damage. She said the cost of such surgery is huge, and called on other organisations and individuals to come to the aid of the boy.

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Rev. Dr. (Mrs) Joyce Orleans Madjitey, Mother of Ms Madjitey, disclosed that her daughter’s survival was miraculous, and urged parents with such conditions to believe in God for deliverance.

“Although doctors who played major roles in her birth predicted a slim chance of survival because of some complications identified at birth, I took hope and strength in the word of God. This kind of condition is such that if you’re not vigilant as a parent, your child can just die. She consistently wanted to commit suicide. But I fervently prayed and used the scriptures to revive her hope and these had had positive impact on her,” she said.

Dorcas also admitted that her condition was very disturbing and that the infections that accompanies it was massive, saying it had affected her in several ways. She, however, expressed gratitude to her mother and the people around her for helping her go through life and reaching the age of 25, despite doctors’ predictions of her dying at tender age.

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She appealed to the public to stop stigmatisation, exclusion and discrimination against persons with disability and other health conditions.

“One would not be infected with the disability if he or she interacts with such persons, and they all have a place in society,” she said.

She also encouraged persons with disabilities to have confidence in themselves and not lose hope in life.

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