Dunia Sibomana was left with no lips and a torn cheek after a horrific chimpanzee attack in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As reported by the Mail Online, the boys were near a nature preserve when the animals jumped from the trees and attacked them, killing Dunia’s friends and leaving him severely disfigured. The savage primates ripped off both his lips and tore his cheek apart, leaving him with muscle damage that now makes it hard for him to eat, swallow and communicate.
However, the eight-year-old is now set to undergo a rare and complicated surgery at a Long Island hospital in the U.S. that will hopefully enable him to be able to open and close his mouth, eat and talk normally.
Dunia, was brought over to the States from the Congo with the help of the non-profit foundation Smile Rescue for Kids. The hospital is covering the cost of the surgery and the doctors have all donated their time to his operation which will use tissue and muscle from his forearm to recreate both lips for him.
The procedure is just the first of three major operations for Dunia and is incredibly rare. In fact, Dr. Alexander Dagum, the hospital’s chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, said he believes this is just the fourth time the surgery has been performed.
Since the attack, which killed his four-year-old brother and young cousin, Dunia has been the target of bullies, leading him to become shy and withdrawn. However, in his short time in the U.S., he seems to have come out of his shell – sticking his tongue out at the doctors as they explained the procedure and attending elementary school in Long Island.
Dr. Leon Klempner, an associate professor of dentistry at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital said:
We’re feeling very optimistic. We’re hoping after the surgery he’ll reintegrate into society and perhaps go back to school or have some semblance of a normal life.
So do we. Best of luck for the operations Dunia.