Medical Teams International | Official Blog

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Lifesaving Medicines Success Story: Ayelia

by Katie Carroll | Mar 14, 2014
Congolese families fled the conflict and brutality of war for refuge in Uganda, arriving with only the belongings on their back.  Now, their children are being born in refugee camps and are suffering from nodding syndrome, a mysterious and rare form of epilepsy.  Affected children nod their heads when they see food or feel cold, leading to seizures that cause injuries, concussions, and severe burns on many who fall into cooking fires.  Nodding syndrome is little-understood and so-far unpreventable, but it can be treated with medications.

Fifteen-year-old Ayella has nodding syndrome. It's obvious from his eyes. The lids are half-closed, and his stare is vacant. When spoken to, he is unresponsive. Until your gifts of medication, he was so sick that he couldn't walk at all. 


Your generous gifts shipped medicines to Ayella, and he is improving greatly in just three months. As a result of the medicines you sent, he is now able to walk some.  Although Ayella is still unable to speak, his mother says that understands when someone speaks to him. “Since he has been on these drugs from Medical Teams International, we have seen significant improvements. We are so grateful. We thought we had lost our son.”

Thank you for your generous gifts, which provide lifesaving medicines and medical supplies to Ayella and children like him around the world.