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Mission Aviation Fellowship bring you the inspiring tale of two-year-old Ojiya, whose remarkable journey to beat the odds encapsulates this intersection perfectly.

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In the arms of her father, Justin, Ojiya might seem like any other toddler. However, she carries an extraordinary story. Born with gastroschisis – a condition where the bowel is outside the body due to an incomplete formation of the abdominal wall in the womb – Ojiya required life-saving surgery.

The small team at AMI Expeditionary Healthcare hospital in Juba, South Sudan, had grown tremendously fond of Ojiya. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Cole Tideswell noted how incredible it was that she had survived this long without severe septicaemia. But the team knew they needed a more permanent solution.

The advanced surgical procedure required was beyond their capacity. They reached out to Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, which agreed to perform the operation. However, arranging a safe and affordable transfer for Ojiya became a significant hurdle.

Here is where Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) stepped in. An old school friend connection led to MAF offering their small planes for a door-to-door service for Ojiya and her father. This transportation solution mitigated the risk of catching an infection during transit and provided a direct transfer from Juba to Nairobi.

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Ojiya underwent major surgery at Aga Khan University Hospital – a complex five-hour procedure followed by intensive aftercare until she was strong enough for discharge. The surgery was successful, bringing her one step closer to full recovery.

On 7th July, an elated Boniface stepped off the MAF plane back in Juba, holding Ojiya in his arms; the family was reunited. Boniface reported that each day saw Ojiya getting stronger.

This incredible journey was only possible due to the collaborative efforts of AMI, MAF, and Aga Khan University Hospital. Dr Ilirjan from AMI expressed his gratitude to MAF, saying, “MAF offered the possibility of surgery to that family. Your services were extremely valuable because without MAF, the surgery would not become a reality.”

Boniface echoed these sentiments, thanking the teams for their support and acknowledging MAF’s crucial role in his daughter’s treatment. “I would like to thank MAF and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare clinic for the genuine support they gave me… I know your being here in this country will be a great help to the people of South Sudan,” he said.

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This story serves as a testament to the power of partnership and the life-changing impact it can have when organisations come together to save a life. It is yet another example of how faith-based organisations like MAF are making a tangible difference in people’s lives.

If you want to make sure MAF continue doing this amazing work, make a donation by clicking here