An Afghan girl drank battery acid and was slowly starving until an extraordinary offer saved her life

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    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: July 1, 2024 (3 weeks ago)

    – In a heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful story, a young Afghan girl who accidentally ingested battery acid has been given a second chance at life thanks to a remarkable international effort.

    Eight-year-old Mina, from a small village in the mountainous region of central Afghanistan, was playing outside when she mistook a bottle of battery acid for water. The corrosive liquid caused severe damage to her esophagus and stomach, leaving her unable to eat or drink properly. Her family, already struggling with poverty and the tumultuous conditions in Afghanistan, watched helplessly as Mina’s health deteriorated over several months.

    “She was in constant pain, and we were desperate,” said Mina’s father, Ahmed, through tears. “We tried everything we could, but there was no hope for her here.”

    Mina’s plight came to the attention of a local non-governmental organization, Afghan Hope Foundation, which quickly mobilized to find her the help she so desperately needed. The foundation contacted several international medical groups, describing Mina’s dire condition and the urgency of her situation.

    The call for help reached Dr. Sarah Henderson, a pediatric gastroenterologist in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Henderson, who has worked extensively with humanitarian organizations, immediately recognized the severity of Mina’s injuries and the limited time she had left without proper medical intervention.

    “When I heard about Mina, I knew we had to act fast,” Dr. Henderson said. “Her condition was life-threatening, and without specialized care, she wouldn’t survive much longer.”

    Dr. Henderson and her team at Boston Children’s Hospital, with the support of several charitable organizations, arranged for Mina to be flown to the United States. The logistical challenges were immense, but the collective determination of those involved made the impossible possible.

    Mina arrived in Boston weak and malnourished, but hopeful. A comprehensive treatment plan was quickly put into place, involving multiple surgeries to reconstruct her damaged esophagus and stomach, and an intensive nutritional rehabilitation program to help her regain strength.

    The journey was long and arduous. Mina spent several months in the hospital, undergoing numerous procedures and battling infections. Throughout it all, she remained brave and optimistic, buoyed by the support of the medical team and her family, who had accompanied her.

    “Mina showed incredible resilience,” Dr. Henderson said. “Her spirit and determination were truly inspiring.”

    As Mina’s health improved, she began to thrive. She made friends with other young patients and learned some English, her laughter often echoing through the hospital corridors. The medical team, deeply moved by her progress, celebrated each milestone in her recovery.

    After nearly a year of treatment, Mina was finally well enough to return to Afghanistan. Her family, overwhelmed with gratitude, expressed profound thanks to everyone who had played a part i

    n saving their daughter’s life.

    “We cannot thank you enough,” Ahmed said during a heartfelt farewell. “You have given us back our daughter, and there are no words to express our gratitude.”

     

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