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Central African Republic. A physical therapist watches from nearby
Central African Republic

An amputation he initially refused saved Hervé’s life

A violent incident cost Hervé his right leg, but with support from Humanity & Inclusion, the 26-year-old proudly stands on two feet again.

One day in late June marked the start of a new beginning for Hervé, who took his first steps with his freshly fitted prosthetic leg. In the months since his right foot was seriously injured in an armed attack in Bambari in February, Hervé’s life—and outlook—have changed dramatically.  

After the incident, Hervé was taken to the hospital where doctors said they needed to amputate the lower part of his leg. At first, Hervé refused.

“I was so afraid of losing my leg and of the consequences it would have on my life,” Hervé explains. “I thought I would become a burden to my family and I didn’t want that.”

With Hervé refusing surgery, the hospital was prepared to discharge him despite the life-threatening risks of his injury. But his leg had become infected and the need to amputate was increasingly urgent. It was then that Humanity & Inclusion’s team learned of Hervé’s case and intervened.

Over the course of a week, Humanity & Inclusion’s mental health specialists counseled Hervé and helped him to overcome his fears, while educating him on the severity of his situation. With his newfound understanding and psychosocial support, he made the life-saving decision to undergo the operation.

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After his amputation, Humanity & Inclusion’s team provided Hervé with a wound dressing kit and he regularly received care from physical therapists and mental health specialists to aid in a smooth recovery. His transportation costs to and from therapy were also covered by Humanity & Inclusion to ensure access to the care he needed.

When the time finally came for Hervé to take the next step in his recovery, Humanity & Inclusion took him to Bangui to be fitted for an artificial limb at ANRAC, the only fitting center in the Central African Republic. One week in June, Hervé spent every morning testing models and having molds made at the center, all leading up to the moment where he can finally begin to walk with his new prosthetic.

“I’m so happy,” Hervé says. “It has been so difficult to get around without a prosthetic. I hope, for myself and my family, that I will be able to walk normally again soon so that I can go back to living the way I used to. I see that little by little, I’m becoming mobile again and for that I thank HI.”

After his injury, Hervé’s job opportunities were limited. For now, he's shining shoes along the main road in the city for very little income. But with his newfound mobility, Hervé is eager to start a new job as a mobile pharmaceutical vendor, walking tall around the neighborhoods of Bambari.

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