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Kenyans online rescue girl with rare skin disease

By Mercy Odhiambo | Updated Thu, May 18th 2017 at 12:36 GMT +3

Three days ago, Solomon Kimani posted an image on Facebook that shocked the online community into action.

It was a photo of an emaciated little girl, whose whole body was riddled with wounds.

The photo attracted many comments. Within a few hours, it was among the most circulated image on Kenyan Facebook groups.

Rare condition

The subject was nine-year-old Eunice Wanjiku, suffering from Scleraderma, a condition that affects the skin and connective tissues.

Three days after the image appeared on the internet, the online community managed to mobilise Sh4.5 million to enable her access medical help.

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Eunice is now admitted at Kenyatta hospital. Her story is now one of hope, not desperation," he says.

"It is a miracle. It is God," says Eunice's mother Teresia Mukami, a house help.

In August last year, a community health worker, Salome Muthoni, was visiting her friend in Kikuyu, Kiambu County when she bumped into a girl who she describes as 'the little girl whose story broke me'.

"I have been a health worker for long, but when her mother brought her to me, I felt my insides shake. She was in a horrible state," says Salome.

Eunice's body was riddled with wounds, her body was so frail and emaciated, that she could hardly lift her hand to greet Salome.

Her mother Teresia Mukami says her condition started four years ago when she noticed Eunice's eyes were turning yellow. She also started withdrawing from her playmates.

"We took her to hospital, and we were told it was a liver condition," says Mukami.

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Despite being given a cocktail of drugs and several doctor's appointments, Eunice showed no improvement.

Painful years

It took years of pain, tears, desperation, and help from online friends to save Eunice.

"Every day, she woke up weaker," says Mukami.

Salome left their home, but she said she carried the story of the little girl with her, and told everyone she met.

"I told her story over and over, until someone listened," says Salome.

That someone was, Solomon, who, together with his friends visited Eunice, took her photo and shared with the online community.

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