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Monday, September 15, 2008

Amazone update.

Just recieved this message from Claudine:

Amazone and her parents have arrived by night with the 'boat people' on a 12 day journey to Maluku, the nearest port to Kinshasa. In the morning, they were kindly greeted by a military person who I called to take care of her. I sent Pierrot (our education officer) to collect her in the trunk.

They arrived at Lola at around 4 in the afternoon. We had two rooms for them by the river, but they were completely empty. Papa Jean, Alain, and Didier found everything for them, beds, mattresses, tables, chairs, sheets, blankets, everything. All they owned was a cup, and a small sac of flour and manioc that they bought before leaving Basankusu. They were still wearing the same clothes that I found them in 2 weeks ago.

The plastic cup was given to Amazone by her grandmother, Koko, without whom Amazone would not have the courage to live. They had nothing else. I don't know how they managed on the boat. I paid for their tickets and I left them with $50 for the voyage and $10 for the rest... but anyway, now they are here, and we have a chance to do something for the little girl.

During the day while Pierrot collected them at Maluku, I did some investigation in the city. Friends who were Congolese doctors, the Belgian Ambassador and everyone I could think off that might be able to help. I thought of a friend, the Maltese Ambassador who sent me to Doctor Kasongo. We have an appointment now for Thursday.

Yesterday morning, I saw Amazone for the first time since I left her in Basankusu. The tumour has doubled, and the pain of the poor child is obvious.

So here is the history that I could find. The tomour is 11 months old. It started at Baringa, near Salonga National Park near the river Maringa, just next to Basankusu. Amazone was six years old. It started with a tooth ache, but no one saw it really well because in the forest, they prefer just to take it out. Then everything started.

Dr Kasango said that it's not impossible that the point of origin of the tumour to be in the cells of the teeth.

After the start of the deformation, about 4 months latter, they put all their hopes in a very long journey from Maringa to Baskankusu. This was 8 months before I met them. The doctor in Basankusu diagnosed 'a malignant tumour' (there is a good hopsital in Basankusu but for a biopsy? you're dreaming) The doctor prescribed chemotherapy ('gusty', said Dr Kasongo 'without a biopsy) and prescribed 6 injections, of $100 each.

The missionaries paid for 2, and the swelling went down, but then they stopped the treatment and the tumour came back even worse than ever.

And here we are.

Dr Kasongo prescribed a pain killer, I paid for the $300 scan, we sent off the scan images today, there will be a biopsy on Friday morning that we will send to a professor at UCL.

I have to get back to Lola now, to take care of things there.



Le Dr a prescrit un anti-douleur , je lui ai payé son scanner (300$)
j'enverrai les images aujourd'hui au Dr Kasango, il lui fera la
biopsie vendredi matin, pour l'envoyer à BXL où il est professeur à
L'UCL, et a l'habitude.
Nous sommes rentrés à Lola continué à installer nos invités, et
commencé à leur trouver des habits autour de nous!...
A suivre...