Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Hana’s Story

Reading time: 2 min

“It is helping Hana feel like a normal, healthy child and she no longer feel different.” 

Tesfa, Hana’s mother 

Before 9-year-old Hana started therapy with Cheshire Services, she couldn’t walk or talk. Her future looked bleak.

Hana was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Living over 600km from Addis Ababa in a rural village, Hana’s parents couldn’t afford to see a doctor. 

Hana’s childhood has been blighted with prejudice and isolation. Immobile, she rarely left her home and didn’t attend school. She couldn’t make friends and her parents faced much discrimination as family and neighbours believed they had been cursed. 

A place of hope

But life changed when Hana and her family were found by Cheshire Services’ outreach team. Hana’s parents, desperate to give Hana the best possible chance in life, made the decision to relocate to Addis Ababa so that she could be near to Cheshire Services’ specialist therapy centre.

Since Hana has been having physiotherapy there have been huge improvements in her health and wellbeing. She is now receiving the vital epilepsy medication she needs and she hasn’t had a seizure since.

A life changed

Hana is now in mainstream school. She is in kindergarten so she can catch up on her education and is a happy and attentive girl, her teacher says she is always beaming and laughing. Each lunchtime she helps her younger classmates to wash their hands. 

Hana tells us that she dreams of being a pilot one day. 

Thanks to Cheshire Services, children like Hana are able to access the therapy, medication and mobility aids they need to regain independence and improve their prospects.

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