Courageous Girl Survives Bandit Attack

South Sudan is a volatile country, and daily life can be just as volatile. Eleven-year-old Rimaz knows this well.

Recently, Rimaz shared her story with Sudan Relief Fund as she sat recuperating in her bed at Mother of Mercy Hospital. She told of the day she joined her uncle, brother, and several others for a walk to a cross-border market, so her uncle could travel from there to Khartoum. A cross-border market is situated on the border between liberated areas of the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) and the government of Sudan.

About an hour after they left their uncle at the border and began to make the trek home, the group was suddenly and viciously attacked by a group of bandits on camels. Gunshots rang out. All four instantly fell wounded, including Rimaz and her brother.

Rimaz had been shot in her arm and the force knocked her to the ground, where she lay semi-conscious with her arm draped across her chest. There was so much bleeding from her wound that it appeared as if her chest were covered in blood, and the bandits took Rimaz for dead.

One particularly gruesome attacker reached down and cut off Rimaz’s ear, still assuming she was dead. In a moment of incomprehensible bravery, Rimaz didn’t flinch or make a sound, knowing it would betray that she was alive and her attackers would surely kill her.

For more than an hour she lay there, drifting in and out of consciousness. Tragically, two friends in their group had been killed instantly. But miraculously Rimaz and her brother – who was also shot in the arm and pretending to be dead – were both alive.

After what seemed like a grueling eternity, Rimaz’s brother felt enough time had passed that it was safe for them to move. He urged his sister to get up so they could find help. But Rimaz was too weak to rise. She could only respond, but she didn’t have the strength to stand.

Rimaz’s brother ran all the way back home, and soon people came to help them get to the nearest medical facility. Because of Rimaz’s extensive blood loss and the wound to her arm, she was redirected to Mother of Mercy, the missional hospital where Dr. Tom Catena and his staff tirelessly serve the vast Nuba Mountain region of Sudan. She was taken in for immediate emergency care.

Since being admitted to Mother of Mercy Hospital, Rimaz has had two surgeries on her arm, and in the excellent care of Dr. Tom and his team, she is recovering well from her injuries. With a radiant smile she says she is feeling much better now. Then her face darkens as she recounts the loss of her friends, and how she feels self-conscious about her injured ear.

But this courageous young girl knows she is lucky to be alive. “I feel very bad for my two friends who were killed, and I feel very ashamed that I have lost my ear,” she expressed. “But I thank God for sparing my life. And I also thank God for this hospital, for the surgery I was able to have, and for them taking care of me.”

These stories of Lives Saved are made possible by your support of Sudan Relief Fund. Thank you for making a lifesaving difference for Rimaz, and so many others who are blessed by your help.

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