Photo: Kuthura three weeks into treatment for tetanus, with his mother at his side. We were relieved he was finally stable and his seizing had stopped, but you can see he was completely rigid.
"Kuthura was 11 when his mother brought him to the MSF hospital in Pibor, South Sudan. He was in the advanced stages of tetanus, bedridden, unable to move. His young body endured 20 to 30 convulsive muscle spasms a day. He was so weak that there were times he stopped breathing and we weren’t able to find his pulse. More than once, I was certain he would die.
And I was even more certain that I wanted him to live.
I’ll never forget the day he greeted me standing—actually standing. His mother cried and hugged and kissed me. I just started crying, because I had never thought I would see him walking or standing. We discharged him shortly after, two and a half months after he arrived, and he was walking with just a little bit of support and getting stronger every day.”
—Dr. Lea Juul Nielsen
Assignment: Pibor, South Sudan
Photo: Here we are 2 ½ months after Kuthura arrived. He’s standing and smiling!
More on MSF’s work in South Sudan.
Photos: 2012 © Dr. Lea Juul Nielsen