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Tigi just prior to surgery

Fasikaw Tigabu.  Not only is his name adorable, so is he.  He’s one of my favourites on the ward.  Always eloquent, always smiling.

He is 25 now, but was 18 when he had his accident, and by his own admission, has no recollection of how or what happened.  Only that he recalls waking up and having someone pulling him out of the fire that burned half his face, neck and one of his hands.

He is gracious as he shares the story with me.  A smile always present.  He believes this was part of God’s plan for him.

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Tigi and his brother Tekest who has been here in support throughout his surgery and recovery

He is one of 9 children, five brothers and three sisters.  They are all well educated and making their way as professionals in the world.  Amongst them, a doctor, a couple of business graduates, a sales assistant, and his older brother, (the one that has been by his side throughout his stay) is studying to be an Orthodox Christian priest in Bahir Dar.  Fasikaw or “Tigi” as we have nicknamed him, is a recent graduate of the University of Tigray where he studied accounting and finance.  He recently started working for the Development Bank of Ethiopia as an accountant and has been happy to share his story.

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The Ethiopian Orthodox Christian crucifix that Tigi wears

Deeply religious, Fasikaw proudly shows me his cruscifix and gives me an education of the three different Christian crosses found in this area of Ethiopia and the symbolism of his crucifix.

His surgery will entail releasing the contractures on his eyelids which will allow him to blink again, and releasing the contracture on his neck which will allow his lip to realign itself.  Following his surgery, Fasikaw informed me that he is “very happy”, particularly with his eye, which he can now blink for the first time in years.  He claims that he has already noticed that it’s now easier to read since the heaviness of the scar tissue has been removed and his eye has stopped tearing.


Two days post-surgery, and already he’s happy with the results

His lip has also relaxed a bit with the new graft and he has more mobility in his neck since the contracture was released.  Doctors have told him it will be a couple of months before the full effects can be seen, but already, he is very grateful to RESTOR for the surgery and the kindness he has received.

In the future, Fasikaw would like to attain his CPA and has dreams of working in America.

He also shared that he has been deeply moved and inspired by generosity of this experience and would also like to do something to help others improve their lives.


We wish you well Fasikaw.


-Dina Kotler


Tigi and his brother Tekest just shortly before out departure.

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