In Dire Need….. The Forgotten Story of Sackie Nyanquoi—An Acid Victim

 

By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay, interlink2004@yahoo.com (231-6-402737)

 

 

 

Sackie’s eyes, nose, neck and face are the most critical parts that need to be reconstructed

Sackie’s eyes, nose, neck and face are the most critical parts that need to be reconstructed BEFORE AND AFTER - AN ARMED ROBBERY: One year after armed robbers attacked him at his home, Sackie Nyanquoi, 18, has been hospitalized since April 17, 2008 where he has undergone over six different surgical procedures. According to medical reports, he now needs to undergo multiple plastic surgeries which can only be performed abroad.

 

Sackie Nyanquoi, aged 18, is still at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center after one year and two months following an armed robbery attack in which raw acid liquid was poured on him, leaving him completely deformed, and having to deal with the agony of living in constant pain.

The victimized Sackie has been hospitalized since April 17, 2008 where he has undergone over six different surgical procedures.  According to medical report, he now needs to undergo multiple plastic surgeries which can only be performed abroad.

 

It is in this vain, however, that the humanitarian effort of a Liberian based in the United States of America has resulted in arrangements which have been finalized with another doctor— Dr. Frederick T. Work, a plastic surgeon.  According to report, the only hold up is securing the required funds to have Sackie sent to the United States for the surgery.

 

Dr. Bartum Kulah, who has been so compassionate about Sackie’s desperate situation, said the plastic surgeon has agreed to perform Sackie’s plastic surgery at an estimated cost of between US$25,000.00 to $75,000.00. The final cost, according to Dr. Work, will be the result of an actual physical exam to determine the number and the extent of procedures to be performed. However, he stressed that the least amount would be US$25,000.00 and the maximum would be US$75,000.00.

 

Dr. Work who has greater than 20 years experience in both General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, is said to be one of the best plastic surgeons in the State of Georgia. He is the Medical Director and Senior Surgeon at Atlanta Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has agreed to repair the deformities of Sackie’s eyes, nose, neck and face, which are the most critical parts.

 

According to Sackie, six surgeries have been performed on him, with Dr. Robert Dennis performing four of them, while Dr. Peter Coleman performed the other two surgeries,

 

“But after each of these operations, the pain can be too much for me. The neck is pulling the mouth down, making it difficult for me to even stretch my neck a little or to look right or left”, lamented Sackie who was an eighth grade student, prior to the occurrence of the deadly armed robbery. He said, he is unable to turn right or left due to a contracture/scar which has formed between his neck and mouth as a result of the wound caused by the large amount of acid that was poured on that part of his body.

 

“Every time they tried to release the contraction, it can be worse. So they can be forced to put it back. And this is how I have been in this terrible pain for the past one year and two months”, he continued. 

 

During my visit to Sackie at the JFK Hospital recently, it was obvious that his stay at the hospital for over 14 months without any further improvement is no longer necessary. He is currently not on any meditation, or any pre-medical care leading to the needed plastic surgery. He disclosed he has been advised by the Hospital Administrator to remain there, as they hope that one of these days a plastic surgeon might come to Liberia.

Frantic efforts to get in touch with the JFK administrator or the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) continue to drag on due to what their respective assistants allude to as busy schedules.

Dr. Kulah told me: “It will require a good amount of money to get him to the States, and to cover medical costs. Please, let all Liberians chip in to defray the costs. Let us all rally around this young man to get him healthy and back in school.”

No Concern Shown

Sackie said that for the past one year and two months, no one has shown any real concern, except for one or two instances in which Information Minister Dr. Laurence Bropleh promised to intervene following after he shall have returned from the United States. Also a local talk-show host named JKB of Truth FM sent out an SOS call on a programmed called ‘Solution Night’ sometimes last year.

Despite all of the appeals, Sackie said: “When I called on JKB show, only one fellow named Michael came and promised to put my information on the internet since which he did, anyway. But since then, no one has come here, not even the police or the Government”.

 

 

 

“It Was Like Real Fire When The Acid Wasted On Me”

Narrating the entire incidence, Sackie said about seven armed robbers, excluding some that were positioned outside, entered his family’s residence on Perry Street during the early morning hours of April 17, 2008.  He explained that while they were asleep, the robbers made their way into the house, but his father challenged them and struck one of them with a cutlass, but the cutlass dropped on the floor.

“When I awoke from sleep, my father cut one of them in his hand and the cutlass dropped from him on the floor. When I bent down to pick up the cutlass, one of them wasted the raw acid water on me. It was like real fire when the acid wasted on me; I had no shirt on me because I was sleeping without a shirt due to the heat in the house. My eyes all came out. I couldn’t see anything at all. The acid almost ate the eyes. Thank God I am seeing with them. I began to roll all on the floor because of the pain just like real fire. They brought me here to JFK and started to waste water on me. Some of the acid got into my mouth, but thank God it did not go deep inside”, Sackie said.

He explained that some of the acid water wasted on his father but since his (Sackie’s) situation was worse he was hurriedly taken to the JFK Hospital—thanks to a neighbor whose car was used to transport him during such ungodly hours. He explained that the neighbor, owner of a local motel in the community, had been attacked too but the sake of humanity still gave him the urge to take he, Sackie, to the hospital since there was not a single moving vehicle on the street during that night.

He narrated that due to the brave fight put forth by his father and the serious injury he inflicted on one of them with the cutlass, they did not enter the house but rather extended their terror to other houses in the community.

“My father spent about three weeks here at the hospital and was later discharged since his situation was not too bad like mine”, he continued. He stated that his father is an employee of the National Port Authority (NPA) but did not specify which department or division he works in at the port. “My mother is not working at all. My father’s income is not enough to carry us (a family of five—including three children) through a whole month”, Sackie explained.

Plead For Help

“I really want to go back to school. I’m asking the government, NGO’s and all citizens of this country including Liberians all over the world to help me. I’m really suffering and I need to go back to school. This is not how I was looking (as seen in the two different photos) and I can feel very bad whenever I see myself in the mirror. Please, I need the help of everybody, anybody”, pleaded Sackie Nyanquoi as he struggled to hold back his tears.

The Sackie Nyanquoi Surgical Fund—An Initial Step

In order to restore Sackie Nyanquoi to normalcy, Dr. Bartum Kulah who has taken so much interest in the story of humanity disclosed to FPA via an email exchange that he met with Senator Clarice Jah, the Head of the Senate Health Committee on Thursday, May 22, 2009.  Describing the meeting as a very productive one, he said that the Senator has pledged US$500.00 as her contribution towards Sackie’s plastic surgery project.

 

“Therefore it sends a very positive sign. I think that all other Liberians, the legislators, senators, cabinet members, bishops, pastors, civil servants, businessmen/women, as well as ordinary Liberians work with her in the fund raising effort. I’ve asked that she works with Dr. Tomarken (who released the medical report at JFK) and open a deposit- only account at Ecobank to be called The Sackie Nyanquoi Surgical Fund. She could go on radio and T.V and call on her colleagues and the general public to follow her lead”, he said.

He suggested that such fund would be a continual process which could be used in the future to aid the next victim, as is done in the advanced world.

“After Sackie this fund could be renamed to help the next victim of acid attack. This is how it’s done in the real world. I believe that it is about time that we join the rest of humanity in looking out for our fellow citizens”, Dr. Kulah concluded.

 

The wave of increasing armed robbery in the country has taken its toll indiscriminately on all sectors of the entire Liberian citizenry with teenager Sackie Nyanquoi being just one of many victims falling prey to it. In recent months, especially for the past few weeks incidences of armed robbery have engulfed the Capital and its environs with the latest victims being Montserrado County Representative Richard Holder and Bentol City Mayor Henrietta Nyea’s son in Bensonville on Wednesday morning in which the latter was killed. Throughout last night the capital was again terrorized by this ugly act.

 

Contributions Tally

 In response to Sackie’s plight, those that want to make a contribution in the US can do so by sending an email with amount and date to Dr. Work whose email address is  aprsc@me.com. FPA will keep a tally of all contributors as we keep an update on the story from time to time when the targeted goal is reached.

 

Meanwhile, those wanting to make contributions in Liberia can use this medium for now until the ECOBank account can be established in Monrovia later while those in Europe and other parts of the world can use the same medium.

Thanks for your contribution and remember that “Blessed is the hand that giveth”.

 

Dr. Work’s Address is as follows:

APRSC

One Baltimore, Place Suite 400

Atlanta, Georgia 30308

Telephone Number 1-404- 885-9675

 

Those in USA can send check or money order directly to the office address or via western union while those wishing to acquire more information can contact Dr. Bartum Kullah on his telephone number which is 001- 770-979-8788 or email him at: kulahb@bellsouth.net.

 

-END-

 

When I bent down to pick up the cutlass, one of them wasted the raw acid water on me. It was like real fire when the acid wasted on me;

When I bent down to pick up the cutlass, one of them wasted the raw acid water on me. It was like real fire when the acid wasted on me;

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