Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Incredible recovery of Nigerian 'witch child' who was left for dead

2016-04-02 10:49:28

A two-year-old Nigerian boy who was found emaciated and riddled with worms after his family left him for dead has made an incredible recovery.

A picture of the starving toddler being given a sip of water by an aid worker broke hearts around the world when it was published in January.

The boy, now called Hope, was abandoned by his family because they thought he was a witch and was found in the streets by Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish woman living in Africa, on January 31. 

Anja Ringgren LovenHeartbreaking: Hope (pictured), was emaciated and riddled with worms when he was discovered naked and wandering the streets on January 31 by Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish woman (pictured right)

Anja Ringgren LovenRescued: Hope was abandoned by his family because they thought he was a witch and was found in the streets by Anja Ringgren Loven (pictured together)

Anja Ringgren LovenIncredible transformation: This picture was published less than two months after Hope was found and shows just how much his health has improved since his rescue

Back in January, Ms Loven found the boy after he spent eight months fending for himself and living off scraps.

She bent down and gently began feeding him and giving him water from a bottle. She then wrapped up the disorientated toddler in a blanket and took him to the nearest hospital for treatment.

When Hope reached the hospital, he was given medication to remove the worms from his stomach and daily blood transfusions to incorporate more red blood cells into his body, Ms Loven said.

And two days after the aid worker asked for the community's help with Hope's costly medical bills, she received $1million in donations from around the world.

Just eight weeks later, Hope is unrecognisable. He has gained weight and has been pictured smiling and playing with other children.

Anja Ringgren LovenBig smile: Hope looks unrecognisable after gaining weight and he has been pictured smiling for the camera

Anja Ringgren Loven'Enjoying life': Hope has gained weight and has been pictured smiling and playing with other children (left)

Anja Ringgren LovenHealthier: Hope is pictured looking at a book with two other children. He looks nothing like the starving boy found by Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish woman living in Africa, on January 31

Ms Loven uploaded new photos of Hope on Saturday, and wrote: 'As you can see on the pictures, Hope is really enjoying his life now having 35 new brothers and sisters who ALL take such good care of him, play with him, study with him, and make sure he is safe and is getting a lot of love.'

But she explained Hope has hypospadias, a genital birth defect meaning the urethra emerges somewhere on the shaft or even the base of the penis, instead of at the tip.

She added: 'The doctors found this inborn condition on Hope, so next week Hope will have surgery.

'This is an operation the doctors have performed many times, so Hope will be very fine.' 

Ms Loven is the founder of African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation, which she created three years ago to help children who have been labelled witches and therefore neglected or even killed by the members of their community.

Anja Ringgren LovenCare: Ms Loven wrapped up the disorientated toddler in a blanket and took him to the nearest hospital

Anja Ringgren LovenTreatment: When Hope reached the hospital, he was given medication to remove the worms from his belly and daily blood transfusions

Anja Ringgren LovenBath time: Ms Loven is pictured helping give Hope a bath after he was found walking the streets starving, disorientated and riddled with worms

'Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we've both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children,' she wrote on Facebook, accompanying images of her feeding the young boy and appealing for donations to help pay for his medical bills in January.

'With all the money, we can, besides giving Hope the very best treatment, now also build a doctor clinic on the new land and save many more children out of torture!' she said.

Ms Loven runs a children's centre where the youngsters she saves live and receives medical care, food and schooling.

She and her husband, David Emmanuel Umem, began building their own orphanage in late January.

Anja Ringgren LovenFriends: Hope (right) is pictured sitting with African Children's Aid Education and Development Foundation education officer, Don Udowan, and Felix, one

Anja Ringgren LovenHair cut: Hope is pictured having his hair cut at the centre in Nigeria after he was rescued on January 31

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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