Medical Treatment of a Liberian Teenager

Diaworseh DuopuUpdate June 29th 2012
Diaworseh was returned to her family in a large ceremony in Duopu Village that included dancing, singing, speeches, and hugs. Diaworseh walked to the crowd's applause. She gave a short but eloquent speech in English then sang a song in her native language, Geo, which translated says, "God has given me an unexpected blessing."

For details on Diaworseh's return to Liberia follow this link.


During a return visit to Liberia in 2008, former Peace Corps Volunteer, Brian Richardson, there from 1964 to 1966, traveled with friends to Nimba County, which is located in the eastern part of the country near the Cote D'Ivoire border. At a very small and remote settlement, Duopu Village, located five miles north of the town of Tappita , he noted one of the children, a girl in her early teens who is crippled. Her name is Diaworseh Duopu. Diaworseh walks only by the aid of a pole about her height. She hugs and uses the pole as a tripod for support, sort of like poling a boat. The pole is a stick about 2-inches in diameter and is polished to a shine by her hands. She walks on the side of her left foot, and on her right foot, she walks on the extreme tops of her toes. Nevertheless, she had on flip-flops.

During the following year, Brian and his wife, Marsha, both of Winterport, Maine, followed up on Diaworseh with family members. They made arrangements with a Massachusetts General Hospital pediatrician, Dr. Brett Nelson, M.D., to examine Diaworseh. She had never seen a physician before that time. Dr. Nelson was then assisting at the JFK Hospital in Monrovia, the capital city. His diagnosis is that she has cerebral palsy.

Diaworseh Duopu has cerebral palsy and is arriving in America to seek treatment.Mass General has agreed to perform surgery and to treat her at their location in Boston. While full recovery is not likely, surgery and physical therapy are projected to provide improved ability to walk, increased mobility, and ability to lead a more full life. Diaworseh, who is now sixteen, is expected to be in the USA for about a year for treatment.

The Richardsons and friends in Liberia, Harry T. Yuan and his wife, Mai Quipu Yuan, are arranging visas, a passport, a matron to accompany Diaworseh to the US, and housing in a Boston-area home. They have made arrangements living, board, room, and in-country transportation with a Liberian family that speaks Diaworseh's language.

With her parents' agreement, the country of Liberia has granted the Richardsons temporary legal guardianship to look after Diaworseh's best interests and to make needed medical decisions during her stay and to make arrangement for her safe return to her home in Liberia. Brian Richardson will be traveling to Liberia in the near future, to return with Diaworseh.

Diaworseh DuopuThe Richardson's are raising supplementary funds to provide for expenses and will be soliciting donations for transportation and living expenses. They have set up an independently-administered irrevocable trust at TDBank in Bangor for donations, called, "THE DIAWORSEH DUOPU TRUST" and have prepared a detailed budget. Their goal is to raise a total of between $40,000 and $50,000. Pledges of over $25,000 have been made so far.

Marsha and Brian ask that you consider making a donation to help fund the transportation and living expenses for Diaworseh. For more information and for a downloadable pledge form please click on this link. Visitors to this website may also view Diaworseh's progress by visiting this page.