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In a heartfelt interview, Benedicta talks about her daughter Annet's journey to Qatar for life altering bladder exstrophy surgery. The procedure was performed by a team of Sidra and HMC doctors, led by Sidra's Division Chief of Urology, Dr Joao Luiz Pippi Salle.

1. What was life like for Annet in Ghana before the surgery?
As a mother, I felt helpless knowing how much pain and suffering Annet was going through and that we didn't have the facilities to treat her condition in Ghana. I didn't think there was much hope particularly since she'd already had two failed surgeries in Ghana.
Annet is actually a twin and to watch her twin sister thrive while she suffered was so hard for me and the rest of our family. Since Annet is less than two-years-old, she is wholly dependent on me for her care. The longer we left her condition untreated, the higher the risks became for Annet to develop further complications.
2. What was your initial reaction that a surgeon had been found in Qatar to perform the bladder exstrophy surgery on your daughter?
I am so grateful to the Association for Bladder Exstrophy Community (A-BE-C). My brother who lives in the US was the one who put me in touch with Pamela Block from the A-BE-C after researching more about the condition.
Pamela was instrumental in sharing information and helping us to put things into action this included the fundraising efforts, coordinating with Qatar Foundation, sorting out our paperwork to come to Qatar and scheduling the surgeries with Dr Salle's team at Sidra and HMC. She was also a great guide in keeping us updated about the surgery and aftercare.
3. What were your thoughts about having the surgery in Qatar?
I was a little bit scared initially as Annet is so young and the scale of these surgeries seems immense for such a small child. However Pamela assured me that Dr Salle was one of the best bladder exstrophy surgeons in the world. This gave me so much courage and confidence. Since Dr Salle is based in Qatar, it also made the journey from Ghana a lot faster and easier. By the grace of God, once we got here, everything went smoothly. It really took a team of amazing people across three different countries Ghana, the US and Qatar to make this happen.
4. What are your thoughts post-surgery for Annet?
I am so happy and relieved to see how well Annet is thriving post-surgery. To see her healing so well is just the best gift a mother could ask for. The rate at which she has responded to the surgery and recovery care here speaks volumes in terms of the expertise and healthcare in Qatar.
Dr Salle and the rest of the medical and nursing teams at HMC are always checking in with us. They have all been very impressed with Annet's recovery. My little girl is smiling and happy. Everyone we have met here has been kind and helpful. I'm truly overwhelmed with the love and care we have received. My daughter now has hope for a new life and this truly is a blessing by God's grace.
5. What is the next step now that the surgery is over?
We are going to stay in Doha for a few more weeks so that the doctors can monitor Annet's recovery. After this, we fly back to Ghana where Annet's condition and recovery will be monitored by our local doctors there. They will collaborate with the A-BE-C to ensure that Dr Salle and his team are updated on how she is progressing.
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