It was an incident I remember all too well!
A decade ago, during the heat of the rainy season, members of the notorious marauding armed gang, ISSAKABA, attacked the home of Sackie J. V Sackie’s guardians on Perry Street.
Sackie was then an eighth grader of the Don Bosco Technical High School in Sinkor.
His father, Cyrus, wrestled with the men and when they realized they were no match for his strength, they splashed the interior of his home with acid, raw one, which touched the face of Sackie and disfigured him for life. The splashed acid also scarred his guardians and they were hospitalized for months on end.
The orgy of thievery and its tale of attending violence, destruction and ruining of lives did not stop there. The marauding men made their way into the compound of Anna Jakay Lewis on Capitol By-Pass. There, they attacked a young lady who had just return from a nearby bar. She was raped in the presence of her daughter, who urinated on herself out of fear for her life and her mother’s.
Sackie’s story went unnoticed for months on end until it was picked up by Nat Bayjay of FrontPage Africa. The headline, Man Without A Face, was coined by Rodney D. Sieh from Mel Gibson’s 1993 summer flick “The Man Without a Face.
The heartbreaking tale of what happened to him gripped the nation as support and prayers poured all over for his family. A Liberian medical doctor, based in the United States, shared Sackie’s story and got offers from some surgical hospitals.
Nat wrote follow-up stories on Sackie’s plight and it caught the attention of then President Sirleaf who facilitated the travel of Sackie and his mother to the United States to further his medical care.
Sackie, accompanied by his mother, traveled to the States to undergo corrective plastic surgery. He would continue his education in the United States, graduating high school and enrolled at a community college where he studied chemistry, with a concentration in biochemistry. His dream was to become a plastic surgeon.
A year shy of completing his undergraduate degree, Sackie passed on the football pitch on October 30, 2018, following a massive heart attack.
Gboko Stewart is a friend and former neighbor of Sackie,