When the forces of law and order opened fire on Anglophone demonstrators in November 2016, they hardly anticipated the agony that would befall those who survived.
Today, six of the victims all in the Northwest Region have been neglected by the Government. Nonetheless, thanks to assistance from well-wishers abroad whose attention was drawn to their case by one Mao Pascal.
According to Mao, it all started when he went to visit a friend at the hospital. When he reached there, the case of 11-year-old Tchitson Dalva Joel, who was shot at Old Town while in their store, caught his attention.
“When I arrived at the hospital to visit a friend, I saw this young child abandoned in serious pain. He was shot above the waist by the police and was in deep pain and the family could not immediately take care of his bills. That is when I took pictures of him and posted them on Facebook pleading for help,” Mao explained.
Other cases include that of Amana Fritze whose testacies were shot, Julius Vershiyi shot on the leg, Jarvis Che Lai shot on the leg, Ambe Edwin who was shot multiple times and Nguti Esponibial who was shot around Ntarinkon.
“I took pictures of them in pains, wrote an appeal for help on Facebook,” said Mao.
Although these pictures were not permitted on Facebook, Mao said Facebook allowed the pictures to be online for some length of time.
During this period, money was raised which enabled him to transfer the victims from the Bamenda General Hospital where they were given little or no care, to the Baptist Hospital in Mbingo.
Mao also revealed that at least FCFA 1 million was spent on each of the victims during their stay at the Baptist Hospital.
In order to ensure accountability, Mao said he usually made a video of him donating the money to the family of the victims and post them on the social media to assure the donors that the money reached the victims.
The victims, Mao said, had at least four surgeries each thanks to support from Sacred Heart College Class of 1991 coordinated by Kidjem Jude in the USA.
When this reporter visited 11-year-old Dalva Joel at their home in Old Town-Bamenda, he was on crutches.
According to a medical report presented, Joel, due to the bullet, is suffering from complex fracture of the right acetabulum with three bone fragments, minimal displacements and conservation of the morphology of the hip joint.
Asked if the family will press charges against the Government, the parents of Joel who are peasant farmers, said they will not press any charges as all they want is for their child to be normal again.
They, however, bemoan the fact that the situation has caused the family so much pain.
Shot on December 8, 2016, Joel laments that he miss playing with his friends and also miss football for which he has so much passion for.
Till date, Mao constantly visits all the victims as part of the follow-up program for their rehabilitation.
Source: The Post Newspaper