Now I can walk and I give back – Dieumbe Seck, Senegal

Now I can walk and I give back – Dieumbe Seck, Senegal
Type 2 diabetes
A mother, wife and merchant lost her leg to diabetes, but not her spirit. Today, thanks to her prosthesis she’s able to move freely and inspire others.

My name is Dieumbe Seck. I am a wife and a mother of four children - two boys and two girls. We live in the village of Diabène. Before I got seriously sick, I was a merchant. I used to go to the markets to buy vegetables and sell water, ice, peanut oil etc. I even had my own shop in the village, while my husband worked as a driver in a local company. The work allowed me to pro-vide for my family and to support my husband, but it was just after that I had my left leg ampu-tated.

I was diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago, but it never stopped me from working. In February 2021, after a bath I noticed a blister on my leg. It burst with liquid and it was painful. Within days I could not sleep at night because of the pain. I decided to see a nurse and was referred to the emergency room at the regional hospital in St. Louis. After several hospitalisations, I continued my treatment in Dakar. In March 2021, my left leg was amputated.

The amputation was not painful. All I felt after the procedure was relief – I was finally free from the excruciating pain. It is very difficult to know that one of my legs is gone, but I put my faith in God. Nowadays, my life is very normal and stress-free because I can count on the support of my children and my husband, who has now, upon my suggestion taken a second wife. Fortunately, the second wife also supports me and helps me in the education and upkeep of the family.
 
When I heard about the project, I asked to be a beneficiary. After the amputation, the moment I received my prosthesis was the biggest relief. Now I can walk trouble-free around the village and I give back to my community. There was another local woman who has just had her limb amputated because of diabetes and she retracted from social life. I befriended her and helped her join a diabetes association. Today, she runs her own little shop in front of the school.

Dieumbe Seck is a beneficiary of Improving management of diabetes and its complications in St Louis, Senegal, WDF18-1619, a diabetes footcare project which also built local capacity for producing prosthetic devices.