Leprosy forced this single mum to give birth alone and abandoned

Imagine lying on the ground in pain, delivering your baby boy alone.

Are you scared of snakes? Comfort is.

But that didn’t stop her moving to protect her family from the jeers and taunts of her community in Ghana. As a leprosy sufferer, Comfort was treated like an outcast.

leprosy images

Fleeing abuse, Comfort moved to a run-down shack at the edge of the forest. It was there, alone under the shade of a tree, that Comfort gave birth to her second son.

Imagine that for a moment. Lying there on the ground in pain, all by yourself. Delivering a baby boy in the dust.

Shack in Ghana

The house where Comfort gave birth to her son.

Every night Comfort went to bed praying against rainstorms due to the holes in her roof. “My biggest fear was snakes,” she explains. “Sometimes I returned from the stream to find a huge snake stretched out in front of the tent. Imagine such a snake entering our tent at night. But God has protected us; that has never happened; we only saw them in the day and frightened them away.”

Living with leprosy: hope and provision

Like many mothers, Comfort dreamt of a better life for her sons. Every night she prayed to God for provision and breakthrough.

God, you know my situation and you know that I need help badly.

In 2012, her fervent request was answered: the local church partnered with Compassion to open up a new project. Both of Comfort’s sons were enrolled in Compassion’s child sponsorship programme.

Emmanuel Hammond, the project director, thought he had come to the wrong place when he first visited Comfort’s home. “It was not a home for any human being,” he says. Emmanuel took photos and showed them to the rest of the project staff who were stunned. Everyone agreed that the family must be relocated from the forest shack at once. 

House in Ghana

Comfort’s new house.

Thanks to Compassion’s partnership with the local church, funds were quickly raised to provide a new home for Comfort and her family. A strong sky-blue home was built on a safe piece of land closer to town. 

Sponsored children in Ghana

Comfort’s sons, Joshua and Charles.

The provision and care Comfort has received from the project has changed the community’s attitudes towards her family. She is no longer an outcast because of her leprosy. She is loved and accepted. Joshua and Charles are thriving.

“Sometimes I feel that I am dreaming,” Comfort says. “I am not used to receiving so much attention. I pray for God’s blessing for all the people who are showing so much love to me and my children through the sponsorship. Now I do not have any worry when night falls or when the rain comes because we have a proper house. I am so grateful to all who made it possible.”

Roz Walsh

Words by Roz Walsh, Vera Mensah-Bediako


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