Help is on the way for a Congolese boy left disfigured after a brutal attack by chimpanzees Dunia Sibomana was considered the lucky one when a group of chimpanzees jumped from the trees and attacked him and two other boys as they played near a preserve in their native Democratic Republic of the Congo.Dunia, unlike the others, survived.
But he was severely disfigured: His lips ripped off and one cheek torn apart, leaving him with muscle damage that make it hard for him to eat, swallow and communicate.Now, eight-year-old Dunia is set to undergo a rare and complicated surgery at a Long Island hospital that will use tissue and muscle from his forearm to recreate both lips. The hope is that he will once again be able to open and close his mouth, and eat and talk normally.
Dr. Leon Klempner, an associate professor of dentistry at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, where Dunia will undergo the operation, said:
‘As you can imagine, not having any lips, the food can just come right out.’He drools all the time and can’t pronounce different words.’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.’
Since the attack two years ago, which killed Dunia’s four-year-old brother and a young cousin, Dunia has been the target of bullies and become shy and withdrawn.