Where Abigail gets her energy is a complete mystery. It is as if her anger and frustration keep her alive. She tells us that she is 70, but it's thought that she's quite a bit older. She came to live in the leprosy camp fifty years ago with her husband. But since then he has died and Abigail has had to fend for herself. Her younger sister, who used to visit once in a while, is sick. It has been a long time since they saw each other.
But Abigail is sorely in need of help. Leprosy has impaired her vision and made her lame: she pulls herself along the hard ground on her stomach, in her dark and unhygienic home. “I was bitten by a rat”, she tells us, pointing angrily to her legs, which look like snakeskin.
The woman next door, who is doing 'a little' better, looks after her and brings her food. But this lady is too weak to carry Abigail to the hospital. She is in need of urgent medical care. She cannot close her eyes, and, unless something is done soon, she could lose her sight altogether. She is due to move into a renovated house, provided by Damien Foundation.
TEXTS: Wendy Huyghe
PHOTOS: Tim Dirven @T.Dirven for Damien Foundation