The struggle of life they say begins at birth and that is exactly what Samuel Benin’s story epitomizes.
Born with a polysyndactyly (fused extra finger) of the right thumb, Samuel Benin was left with a painful start to his journey in life.
The deformity diluted the motherly love of Samuel’s mother who abandoned him. He was adopted by his auntie, Madam Lamiley, who had to take him to a new environment to avoid stigmatization.
Young Samuel tells us that growing up, he had a lot on his mind including contemplating suicide especially when he heard that his biological parents left him because of his deformity.
“I was tempted to go and drink something and kill myself because if my mother who gave birth to me has left me because of this, what will others do? My father also left me because of this deformity,” he said.
Samuel suffered a lot of ridicule and rejection, which left him demoralized with low self-esteem. At a point, he dropped out of school.
While sharing his experience, Samuel was quick to also express his gratitude to Greater Works Restoration Foundation (GWRF), AGA and AGA Health Foundation for their generosity.
“I didn’t have any hope of this surgery being done because of financial constraint but thanks to Greater Works Restoration Foundation, I will be restored.”
WHen contacted on phone to confirm the narration, Samuel’s auntie, Lamiley, who was full of joy and hope and thanked the partnership on behalf of her nephew.
Outcome of the surgery
Dr. Paa Ekow Hoyte-Williams, a consultant plastic surgeon and President of Greater Works Restoration Project (GWRF), revealed after the surgery, “Samuel’s thumb has been restored to normal, in terms of appearance and use. Truth is, the hand is a very important part of the body and having it in good shape matters because we use it very often and it affects almost all of our daily activities.”
Having such a deformity really affects one’s self-esteem due to social rejection in all facets of life.
“In Samuel’s case, the other finger on the thumb was stiff and had no joint which made it impossible to move it but that has been corrected,” Dr. Hoyte-Williams explained.
“No child should drop out of school, and no individual should feel like a social outcast because fused fingers can corrected,” he added.
The Obuasi Restoration Project
The Obuasi Restoration Project is a partnership among AGA, AGA Health Foundation and Greater Works Restoration Foundation to offer free reconstructive surgeries for members in the Obuasi community.
The Mission of GWRF is to provide free reconstructive and restorative surgical services as well as education to the lives of afflicted individuals.
Some of the cases GWRF is providing free surgeries for include clefts, hernia, keloid, abnormal limbs formation, among others.
The surgery is expected to end on Friday, 6th July, 2018.
Thoughts about suicide can come to you when faced with some challenges but there is hope;
Promise not to do anything right now,
Even though you’re in a lot of pain right now, give yourself some distance between thoughts and action. Make a promise to yourself: “I will wait 24 hours and won’t do anything drastic during that time.” Or, wait a week.
Thoughts and actions are two different things—your suicidal thoughts do not have to become a reality. There is no deadline, no one’s pushing you to act on these thoughts immediately. Wait. Wait and put some distance between your suicidal thoughts and suicidal action.
Avoid alcohol and drugs; Suicidal thoughts can become even stronger if you have taken drugs or alcohol. It is important to not use nonprescription drugs or alcohol when you feel hopeless or are thinking about suicide.
Do not keep these thoughts of suicide to yourself; Coping with suicidal thoughts and feelings requires that you share them with someone we trust. It may be a family member, friend, therapist, member of the clergy, teacher, family doctor, coach, or an experienced counselor at the end of a helpline.
Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. Don’t let fear, shame, or embarrassment prevent you from seeking help. And if the first person you reach out to doesn’t seem to understand, try someone else. Just talking about how you got to this point in your life can release a lot of the pressure that’s building up and help you find a way to cope.
You can also send us about your suicidal thoughts via email at firstname.lastname@example.org