Recently, HALO posted a Facebook request for prayers and support for Mary. Mary was born during the Liberian civil war and was prone to seizures in her infancy, likely caused by a traumatic delivery. This condition is common in children born during the war, regularly resulting in lifelong epilepsy.
|HALO Ambassador Courtney Van Hoozer and Mary|
When Mary first arrived at CCH, it was not disclosed that she was prone to seizures as an infant, but Neyor and Fungbeh soon learned of her epilepsy when she began experiencing seizures, the most recent of which lasted for nearly fifteen minutes. A six hour commute to a doctor and a $500 (USD) CAT scan later, Mary's doctors determined that her condition is epilepsy, but they did not find any additional, more serious conditions. She was prescribed a stronger medicine than what she was previously taking and was reported in good health by Fungbeh and Neyor this week. Neyor's nursing background and charitable donations saved Mary from other "healing" treatments in rural Liberia. Several reports show that some Liberians still view seizures as possession by spirits. Some traditional healers treat seizures with unconventional approaches by our standards, including blood bathing and homemade medicine. These treatments are largely ineffective. A considerable number of rural Liberians believe epilepsy to be contagious by physical contact, and many epileptic residents are avoided by their community due to fear of contraction of the disease. In a portion of the country lacking education on neurological conditions, Mary's quality of life and probably even her life itself has been saved by her parents, with the support of charitable organizations, including HALO.