An African boy left severely disfigured after an attack by a group of chimpanzees two years ago is to be operated on by top surgeons in the US. Dunia Sibomana was the only survivor in a group of three boys, including his brother and his cousin, playing near a nature preserve in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although the eight-year-old was considered lucky to be alive, he was left badly injured with his lips ripped off, one cheek torn apart and muscle damage that make it hard for him to eat, swallow or speak.
As you can imagine, not having any lips, the food can just come right out.
Now, Dunia is to undergo rare and complicated surgery at a Long Island hospital that will use tissue and muscle from his forearm to recreate both lips with the hope he will once again be able to open and close his mouth, and eat and talk normally. The planned eight-hour procedure will be the first of three for the young boy who was brought to the US in November by the charity, Smile Rescue Fund for Kids. Dunia is living with a host family on Long Island and going to primary school where he is learning English - his native language is Swahili. "We’re feeling very optimistic,“ Dr Leon Klempner from Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.