Little Favor Maphia George Sherman, 15, occasionally groaned and grunted as her maternal mother gently pulled her ‘curved hand’ out from a silk cloth it had been ‘concealed’ in.
“Show it for the cameraman,” grandmother Rebecca Elliot, 66, commanded her grandchild who looked shy on exposing her ‘deformed hand’ to the cameraman. The affected part is the lower section below the elbow. The hand was stiff like a dry wood, dotted with dislocated pieces of flesh.
“She fell of a septic tank when she was jumping with her friends in the neighborhood in Saye Town, here, on December 28, 2018,” grandmother Rebecca Elliot explained to the cameraman, the writer of this story, at the Liberia Media Center (LMC), located on 1st Street, Sinkor, Monrovia, where she had taken her grandchild in the hope that she would speak on a ‘radio station’ at the LMC. “We live behind this building,” she pointed beyond the LMC’s fence.
“We told her the LMC doesn’t have a Radio Station, so we told her to speak with you, a journalist, in the building,” Mr. Dixon Tunateh Pennie, LMC’s Lead Trainer, Media Business Development, told the writer about the grandmother and grandchild waiting for a ‘journalist’ who appeared about one hour later.
The Liberia Media Center is a independent media empowerment NGO that also monitors published/broadcast local stories over radio stations and newspapers on news content and balance in reportage.
“We first took her to a country bone doctor who treated her with country medicine and tied the hand in a bamboo sticks,” grandmother Rebecca Elliot explained to this writer.
But the ‘country medicine’ couldn’t ‘straightened’ little Favor’s hand.
“So, later, we took her to Dr. Kpoto, a bone doctor, at St. Joseph Catholic Hospital on January 24 of this year,” grandmother Rebecca Elliot said in a plaintive tone and sobbed. “We were told Doctor Kpoto is Liberia’s best bone doctor and he treats bone problems at several hospitals including St. Joseph Catholic Hospital, and JFK (John F. Kennedy Medical Center), and works for MERLIN, a foreign international medical organization,” grandmother Rebecca Elliot narrated. The second hospital is State-owned.
When asked to give the surname of the ‘alternative bone doctor’, little Favor’s escort replied: “I can’t reminder now.”
Little Favor spent three weeks under the medical care of ‘Dr. Kpoto’, her grandmother recalled.
“But, my grand-daughter’s hand can’t straightened since Doctor Kpoto worked on it, and since she was discharged from the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital,” the 66-year-old grandmother cried.
So, why was she at the Liberia Media Center?
“I’m here to talk on the radio station here, to appeal to the Government of Mr. George Manneh Weah, NGOs, and all other humanitarians to help in straightening my grand-daughter’s hand,” she responded to the writer’s question of her mission in the LMC’s building.
Grandmother Rebecca Elliot was on the ‘SOS Call tour’ with her grand-daughter because neither of the kid’s biological parents had money to fix the child’s dislocated bone.
Favor’s grandmother explained to the writer: “Her father, Tom Sherman, doesn’t have the amount for treatment. He’s a mason’s helper on building field. Her mother, Yeatie Quiah, isn’t working.”