Annabelle’s dramatic escape from her traffickers before Christmas last year was just the beginning of her journey.
When our team met her, she was freezing and hungry. In desperate need of medical care, God brought someone across her path. Like the good samaritan before him, he took her to a hospital and told them he would be back to take care of her medical bills. Anabelle had several broken ribs and severe injuries, and she weighed less than 80 pounds. One of the most urgent concerns for survivors is their health and this critical need was met.
As our relationship with Annabelle has continued, we continue to see healing happen. She was placed with a loving family and later connected with Luminita, another survivor who began to mentor her. When members of our staff were spending time with her, they noticed when she was reading, she would have to get within inches of the book. She was stumbling when she walked and couldn’t see what she was eating.
A local Pastor arranged for us to meet an eye doctor and our staff took her to see him. He told us that Annabelle’s condition was so bad if it continued to deteriorate, she would lose her sight. She was visibly frightened and didn’t want to look the doctor in the eyes or look into the machine for testing.
She would make up things if she couldn’t see them so no one would know how bad it was. The doctor told our European Director the problems with her sight were severe but he didn’t want to frighten her as another doctor had when he told her she would lose her sight.
He was very sensitive and careful with her, explaining everything carefully. After spending some time trying on glasses and combining different lens options he mentioned how her sense of humor reminded him of his own daughter. She enjoyed some chocolate and tea while she tried on glasses and he assured her, “you will leave this office today with glasses.” He called someone who was supposed to pick up their glasses that day and told her about the situation and she gladly agreed to get a new pair the next week. He put the right lenses in and handed them to Annabelle.
The owner of the business was watching the interaction and came over with his son and daughter to talk to our staff. “Consider us as your partners in every case you need glasses,” he told us, not willing to take any money. He told us he wants to get involved in helping survivors.
Remember, when you join Uncaged in this fight against trafficking, you are part of this kind of transformation. It’s not quick. It’s not inexpensive. But it is worth it for girls like Annabelle when we see the joy, hope, and transformation in their lives! We will be with them every step of the way.