Muthi attack survivor reclaims her smile

2018-06-15 06:00
PHOTOS: SUPPLIEDReanetse (left) and Mathsidiso Jabare after consulting with the plastic surgeon in Port Elizabeth last week.

PHOTOS: SUPPLIEDReanetse (left) and Mathsidiso Jabare after consulting with the plastic surgeon in Port Elizabeth last week.

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A BRAVE little girl who was left disfigured after surviving a mutilating muthi attack where her eyes, lips, ears and nose were sliced off might be able to get her smile back , with the help of philanthropists from the Smile Foundation.

Following a report in the Fever on May 25 about her story, Reanetse Jabare (8) who, after suffering an attack when she was nine months old, has continued to endure further hardships while living with a disfigured face’s.

Reanetse’s story caught the eye of non-governmental children’s charity organisation, Smile Foundation, and they reached out to Reanetse’s sister and caregiver Mathsidiso Jabare to help.

The regional co-ordinator of the Smile Foundation from Port Elizabeth, Tanya Jackson, confirmed that preparations for Reanetse’s surgery had begun.

“Reanetse had her consultation with Dr van der Walt [a plastic surgeon] on May 31 after a long eight-hour trip from Matatiele to Port Elizabeth” said Jackson.

She said the foundation covered the cost of her travel and accommodation.

“We discussed the way forward and Reanetse will start her treatment in August during the Port Elizabeth Smile Week, scheduled to take place from August 13 to August 17 at the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital” said Jackson.

She said Reanetse will undergo multiple surgeries over a three year period to reconstruct the skin and hair on her head. During her surgery in August her eyelids will also be extended, so that her eyes can close, and her left hand will be reconstructed.

“At a later stage she will need a silicone ear implant which costs in the region of about R80 000. This procedure can only be done when she is older as her bones are still too small and her ears are still growing.

“This is where the public can get involved in donating towards her new ears,” said Jackson.

Mathsidiso said she was beyond words regarding the assistance.

“Thank you Fever for changing our little sister’s life. I am speechless, really. I don’t know how to say thank you,” said Mathsidiso.

Reanetse, who is from the Harry Gwala Park settlement in Matatiele, said she was suffering after experiencing insults and all sorts of humiliation in her everyday life.

Reanetse’s problems began when she was nine months old after she was allegedly sold to her attacker by a relative who was taking care of her while her mother was in hospital.

The attacker mutilated her eyes, lips, ears and nose , allegedly for the use in muthi and, after slicing her off the parts from her face and two fingers from her left hand, the suspect wrapped the screaming child in blankets and set her alight.

Her wails caught the attention of another child, who alerted neighbours.

She miraculously survived the attack but has not been able to receive the surgery she needed to reconstruct her face.

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