When Miracle was 14 months old his mother, Marcelline, put him down for a nap. While he slept, she began cooking and put a pot of water over the fire. Marcelline stepped outside to go to the well to get some more water, and while she was gone Miracle woke up and went into the kitchen looking for her. When Marcelline returned from the well, she found Miracle standing with his hands in the boiling water. She ran to him and pulled him away, but it was too late.
Marcelline tried to find help for her son. She took him to a hospital in nearby Togoudo where they tried to clean the wound, but there was not much they could do. Later, as the skin on Miracle’s hands began to scar and the tissue began to contract, she tried other traditional healers and a witch doctor but had no luck.
Over time, the skin on Miracle’s hands contracted more, making it impossible for him to move his fingers. He lost significant mobility.
Miracle’s father, Fiacre, runs a dance and drumming troupe in Ouidah, Benin. Miracle takes after his father and also loves to play the drums. In fact, he’s often found drumming on anything he can find. Fiacre heard about Mercy Ships by word of mouth from someone in a nearby village. Fiacre and Marcelline used Google Maps to find the Don Bosco screening centre.
On the first morning that Marcelline took Miracle to the screening centre, she could not find the end of the line. There were so many people she left and tried again the next day, and the next. Finally, on her third try, they were able to get through the gate and see Mercy Ships screening team.
Miracle was operated on by Dr. Tertius and Dr. Konrad. They grafted skin from Miracle’s thigh to his hands, and after an extensive operation, they used K-wires to set the fingers straight.
As he recovered on the wards, Miracle enjoyed playing with the other patients. Before long, his hands healed enough that he could drum again. With the support of Mercy Ships physical therapy team, Miracle now has function in his hands.
Watch Ruth and Marina, who like Miracle, suffered extensive burns as children.
Tune into Surgery Ship Tuesdays 7.30pm on Nat Geo People