We were recently contacted by an enterprising young amputee from The Gambia.
Ebrima Susso, now 24, had suffered an above elbow amputation 13 years ago. Prosthetics are almost impossible to get hold of in The Gambia and while the wonderful charity, Legs4Africa, does a great job offering hope to so many by collecting used prosthetic legs, which under EU law cannot be re-used in the United Kingdom, and shipping them to African countries for modification and fitting, there is nobody offering the same service for upper limb amputees.
Ebrima, who was suffering increasingly from feelings of shame and social isolation showed huge initiative by contacting a company in India to get a quote for obtaining a prosthetic arm but sadly was unable to afford the price they were asking. He then contacted charities in the UK including the DBF to see if he might be able to get a grant towards the cost of a prosthesis.
Being a small charity with limited funds, the DBF Grants remit is inspiration-based and only allows for grants awarded in the UK. It does not cover prosthetics or living aids so, sadly, we were unable to give Ebrima financial support. I offered to publish his story in the hope that someone reading it may be able to help this very enterprising young man so that he can get back to his education and fulfil his ambitions.
If you’d like more information or know of anyone who may be able to help or advise Ebrima please do contact him using the email address at the bottom of this post .
Ebrima’s story does bring home that something we should all be grateful for is the fact that, while it may take a while, amputees in this country are pretty much guaranteed to be able to get hold of a prosthetic limb. People in other countries aren’t so fortunate.
You can read Ebrima’s story in his own words below.
I am ebrima susso born in January 1 -1996
Later on on when I become 9 years old I had a terrible accident I fall down from horse my right arm brok with lead me to amputation Since then my life automatically changed living my country as an amputee is not easy. I have been going through with so many things people see my amputation as a result I have being neglected by the people in society with lead me to hide myself. I couldn’t complete my education because of the pain I have been going through I keep changing from school to school even private schools I end up stopping my education I decided to stay home alone. I suggest to myself that If I can get a prosthetic arm that can be helpful to me with is not available in my country. Then I search online until I found a company called vaidam in India I ask them if they can provide me a letter with I can go to the India for fitment. Then they provided me the letter I request afterwards I couldn’t offer the price of the prosthetic
My goal was if get the prosthetic I need I can go back to school and complete my education and get back to the farming.