Lillian A – Seven Years Later, Surgery Helps Woman Support her Family

After surviving an LRA attack in 2005, Lillian Apio faced a harrowing struggle to rebuild her life.

Shortly after Apio and her family returned to their village from an IDP camp, they were attacked in the middle of the night by LRA soldiers, who locked them inside their thatch house and set it on fire.

“I was burnt in the house with my husband and two small children”, she described in a testimony about the attack. “I realized there was some smoke in the house and found out that we were burning. I woke my husband and children from sleep and we tried to break down the door. My clothes had caught fire and one child was injured in the arm and leg.”

Apio and her family were eventually freed by others in the village, but Apio suffered serious burns on her left arm. Apio did not receive medical treatment at the time, and as a result her arm eventually contracted and she became unable to use her arm.

Apio’s injury became a debilitating burden on her ability to do domestic work and to provide for her family, which has since grown by two more children. “I am a peasant farmer and I stopped my education in primary school”, she said. “I depend on digging for part of my income.”

After being examined in 2011 by an AYINET medical team, Apio finally received medical treatment for her arm. After her operation, Apio’s ability to move her arm and hand greatly improved. “My hand used to not hold the hoe very well when I was in the garden, but [now] I can dig well and do other domestic work.” Apio is also receiving psychosocial counselling from AYINET, which helps victims cope with mental and emotional stress resulting from their experiences during the conflict.