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A new dawn for Florence Mampa
- Updated: July 29, 2012
Florence Mampa is now free to embrace her beauty as a young woman with an expectant future following a life-changing operation as CHRISTINE CHISHA of the Sunday Mail brings out Florence’s new life after the operation on her overgrown breasts.
THERE was a time in her life when Florence lost all hope of living and started waiting upon God. She stopped going out, hanging out with friends or going to church for fellowship. All she could do was care for her sore breasts.
She had lived with an unusual condition since she was 19 but is now filled with hope after undergoing a successful operation at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on June 21.
Florence was a normal, happy child living in the lakeside town of Samfya, home to the beautiful Lake Bangweulu until she turned 19.
Today, she recalls how five years ago, while in Grade 12 at Samfya High School, her breasts started itching and as she scratched they swelled and started growing bigger and bigger. “It all started when I had a dream that I had given birth to a baby girl and was breastfeeding her. In the morning my breasts started itching and started growing bigger until they started reaching my knees,” she said.
Florence explained that she went to three Zambian hospitals including a Chinese hospital but none of the hospitals could diagnose the problem. “I have been to Samfya, Mansa, Kitwe and Kalulushi hospitals and one Chinese hospital but the solution to my ailment or what was causing the enlarging of my breasts could not be found. “At Mansa General Hospital I was told it was a hormonal problem and nothing could be done,” recalls Florence. She said in Kalulushi, they wanted to operate on her but could not agree because they had misplaced her results. However, witchdoctors told her that some people in Mwamfuli Village had bewitched her through the dream she had.
She said at the hospital she was being given pain killers because when the breasts started itching she would scratch and they would start paining, while the witchdoctors subjected her to tattoos and herbs.
“Sometimes I would feel like someone is pulling at my heart out and I would collapse. There was a day I bled and collapsed and was rushed to the hospital,” Florence recalls.
She said at one time when she was admitted to hospital, she contracted measles and could not see.
Florence said this led to her losing hope as she felt like she would die anytime.
Hope was, however, restored when Bangweulu member of Parliament (MP) Chifita Matafwali with a news crew visited her home and her case was captured and shown on television. This prompted Government with the help of the private sector to evacuate her to Lusaka.
Florence did not want to be shown on television but the MP and her father persuaded her.
Florence, who turned 24 last month, underwent what doctors described as a successful plastic surgery at the UTH and is out of danger and discharged. She underwent the five-hour surgery from 09:00 hours to 14:00 hours. The operation was successful. Today, she no longer feels the pain she endured during the four years she lived with enlarged breasts.
UTH managing director Lackson Kasonka said two general surgeons and one plastic surgeon conducted the surgery to remove 16.25 kilogrammes of breast material. Dr Kasonka explained that 8.1kg of flesh was removed from the left breast and 8.15kg from the right one. Florence’s breasts have been down-sized to normal.
Dr Kasonka said there was no excessive bleeding during the operation, adding that the tumour was not cancerous. Florence, who was under anesthesia during operation, was resuscitated using assisted ventilation in the intensive care unit. She said believing in God greatly helped because even the day she went for the operation she believed God was going to heal her and remove the shame from her life.
“I knew God was on my side and I was meditating on the famous Psalms 23 and my prayer was surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. God is a healer and uses people to reach and touch others. I told my mother it shall be well and it is well,” she said with a beaming smile.
She thanked President Sata and his family, Government, churches, private sector, UTH management and staff, Mr Matafwali and family for all the support rendered to her.
Florence said she was looking forward to going back to school because her future plan is to become a nurse. She appealed to well-wishers to help her with school fees to start Grade 10 at a school in Lusaka.
Her mother Vivian Mampa said she has seen God’s hand and Government at work with the healing of her daughter.
She said when her daughter was in the operating room she concentrated on reading Psalms 118 while the wife of Mr Matafwali, Annie, joined her in singing worship songs.
Mrs Mampa thanked President Sata and his government for prioritising issues of health especially those affecting the poor. “This is a clear testimony that we have a government and people who value life and are ready to assist the vulnerable,” she said.
Ms Mampa also thanked Chief Kasoma Bangweulu, who also stood with her when her daughter was in the operating room and Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Jean Kapata, who flew to Samfya to ensure that Florence was evacuated as quickly as possible.
She also applauded Meanwood Property Development Limited for facilitating the evacuation.
“As an Adventist, I looked to God for a miracle and Florence is well, indeed God works through people,” she said.
(Source: Sunday Mail)