“My struggle was a training Ground” John U. Swaray shares how how he became a self advocate.

John B Swaray

My name is John u. Swaray. I come from a family of six. At the age of seven I was stabbed by rebels with a bayonet on my right hand almost to the point of death. I became sick, very sick. My body was swelling and my right hand started to rot while we were in the bush. My mother found her way to Mattru Jong hospital in the southern district of Sierra Leone.

I was hospitalized at the Mattru Jong Hospital for four years, for which operation was done on my hand, the doctors removed some flesh from my hand. I wasn’t fully recovered then the rebel attacked the Mattru Jong village, we escaped from the hospital and we moved into the bush for almost eight months after which we came to Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone. My name is John U. Swarray,

I was hospitalized at the Mattru Jong Hospital for four years, for which operation was done on my hand, the doctors removed some flesh from my hand. I wasn’t fully recovered then the rebel attacked the Matru Jong village, we escaped from the hospital and we moved into the bush for almost eight months after which we came to Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone.

We visited Dr. Mike the man who did the initial operation in Mattru Jong hospital and he transferred us at the Connaught Hospital to Dr. Boima which I was admitted there for another three and half years. So I have spent seven and half long years in hospital. At Connaught hospital, situation got worse and my whole body swelled up some part of my hand got rotten. The doctor’s try all but gave up on me. My mom was driven out of the ward as I was only giving few minute to live, but I survived.

John B Swaray Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For each surgery they took the skin from my legs for the skin grafts. I had to wear pressure garments on my legs because it takes a while for the donor sites to heal. My mum was taught how to change my bandage, assist with the prescribed exercise program to keep to skin stretched out.

I continued on with reconstructive surgery once every six to eight months but the doctors seen it fixed that they should amputate the hand, Three times my mother signed a documents to amputate my right hand because there were no veins that could supply the flow of blood in my hand.
My tragedy became an open book to my family, friends and even stranger, my name changed to my problem, it was difficult for me to live.

The rebels then attacked Freetown and we were displaced from the hospital.  During that period, my mom dropped me at the Don Bosco orphanage home to check on my brothers and sisters in the village. I spent some months in the orphanage home and after a while I moved out.

LESSON LEARNED

I gained a lot from my pains and I out here today very strong today, have a very strong will, and I know there is something in this life for me. I don’t throw pity party it solves nothing and no one listens, it’s up to me to take charge of my life. At this point in my life I have learned that God created or made us proportion to the task He has for us. My struggle was a training ground. He created my story to show others that He is God and to solve problems, because my future is mark proportion to the problem I am willingly ready to solve for other.  Life to me is an interesting journey which is full of ups and downs and how it ends it up to me. The choices I made every day will define my future. Now I know I just need to thankful to God.

This is how FORUM FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY SIERRA LEONE (FPD-SL) came about, from the struggle I went through in life and now I want to help other and bring solution to some of their pains in life.I was hospitalized at the Mattru Jong Hospital for four years, for which operation was done on my hand, the doctors removed some flesh from my hand. I wasn’t fully recovered then the rebel attacked the Mattru Jong village, we escaped from the hospital and we moved into the bush for almost eight months after which we came to Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone.

Watch full documentary here.

Today we like to share one of our newest Association members story from Sierra Leone. John B Swarray is head of the Forum for People with Disabilities in Sierra Leone Agnes Mam Fallah Kamara Rare Diseases & Disabilities Africa Foundation Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Posted by African Association of Disability and Self Adovacy Organizations on Friday, April 10, 2020

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