Life-Saving Surgery for 3-Year-Old Ugandan Boy at U-M

June 13, 2016 8:00 AM

‘We are just so glad the connection was made between Uganda and Ann Arbor, Michigan.’


The grapefruit-sized tumor draped around Jonathan Ssekawunde’s neck didn’t keep the rambunctious 3-year-old from hopping on tractors for pretend “rides,” darting through a barn and giggling while feeding goats and llamas at Domino’s Petting Farm this fall.

But back home in his village in Uganda, Jonathan wasn’t able to play in public places. There, the protruding tumor marked him as “diseased,” leading to his isolation from other children and even preventing him from going to school.

Today, just a faint, pencil-thin line across his neck is all that’s left of the 18-centimeter neck mass after a surgery at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Watch Jonathan’s whole amazing story in the video above.