Mustapha Jarju is the 9 year old son of Sulayman and Musu. They are a young family living in Kololi. He has a younger brother.
Mustapha is like every 9 year old boy, full of life and adventure. His favorite activity is football and hanging out with his best friend Martar who is the same age and lives in the same compound. Dad days Mustapha was a very good student and enjoyed going to school.
On Wednesday 12th May, Muslims in the Gambia like others around the world were busy preparing for Koriteh celebrations on the 13th. So like other young boys, Mustapha and his best friend Matar set off down the road hand in hand to go to the barbers for their hair cut.
Mom and dad had no reason to think this would be anything other than a routine visit to the barbers. Unfortunately for the whole family this would be a day that changed their lives forever for them all.
Mustapha and his best friend were caught up in an event that was unforseen and shocking and tragic.
The 2 boys met a man with an axe along their route to the barbers in Kololi where they live, literally around the corner from their home. Matar was able to runaway but unfortunately Mustapha was not so lucky. He was struck several times in the head with the axe, leaving him with multiple skull fractures and in a critical condition.
The quick thinking actions of a passerby who took control of the scene, the generosity of a man who who gave money and a driver and his abrante meant that he was taken to hospital almost immediately and later transferred to Banjul where he had surgery and has been in intensive care since.
The doctors woke him up from his sedation on Sunday . This is the update today (23/05/21) from the hospital ( Sinty and Jo met with the doctor to support the family)
It is clear that this is going be a long road for the family.
Mustapha remains in ICU at Banjul hospital. His condition is stable at present, but he is closely monitored for any changes as it is possible infections could develop in the days ahead.
The right side of his body remains inactive, because it was the left sideof his brain that was most affected by the attack.
The damage to his brain is speculative at present, but he may result in problems with his mood or temperament, his behaviour, his learning and education, his speech, even possibly developing epilepsy. These problems will have life long implications for Mustapha and his family, requiring financial aid and support from the local community for many years to come/ the rest of his life.
The ICU department have started soft Physiotherapy for Mustapha, helping to keep his muscles working and preventing bed sores. But he will need intensive Physiotherapy as time goes on to hopefully help him regain full movement of his whole body.
The family needs urgent help to cover costs of treatment ( dressings, medication), visiting and will need help providing care when Mustapha returns home.