5-Yr-Old Boy Suffers After Sodium Hydroxide Intake; Mother Makes SOS Call

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Monrovia – Five-year-old Varney Johnson is seen with a tube from his navel to his mouth sitting and playing with his friends. He has been wearing such for a year now.


Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]


It is through this tube that the five-year-old eats and drinks. It was placed on him after he accidentally took in Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda) at a neighbor’s home, where soap is from the chemical for commercial purpose in Beh town, Bomi County.

According to his mother, Maima Scott, it happened in 2016 when she left him with her mother.

She said upon her return she only saw her baby vomiting with blood adding that several first aid methods were applied but he continuously vomited blood.

“When we got to the county hospital, they treated him for the night and referred us to Médecine Sans Frontières (MSF), which in turn referred us to John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical hospital,” Varney’s mother said.

Ms. Scott said her son has undergone three surgeries but nothing has been done to repair his esophagus that is damaged.

“All the surgeries that have been done, he still can’t eat through his mouth but through the tube, every time we try feeding him through his mouth he vomits.”

According to her, some foreign doctors, who were at the Jackson F. Doe Referral Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County, had told them that Varney needs to seek advanced medical treatment abroad.

“I have begged all around but it’s still not working. No one has shown concern for my son. I went to the Legislature and met some lawmakers asking them to help but none has come to my son’s aid.”

She disclosed that currently they are displaced after the rain took away their home and belongings.

“We have been denied several homes because of the appearance of my son. Even we had to be evicted from an area because I was told my son is very nasty.”

“I really need help; he is the last among my three children. His illness is so troubling that I can’t manage my life anymore.”

Anyone wanting to help little Varney can reach Maima at 0779048262 / 0881569287.

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