Incredible recovery of the Nigerian ‘witch child’ who was left for dead by his parents: Care worker reveals pictures of fighting fit two-year-old after heart-breaking image shocked the world
Hope was left for dead by his family because they thought he was a witch
Toddler was found emaciated and riddled with worms by a charity worker
Woman who saved him has shared photos showing his incredible recovery
Hope, two, from Nigeria, is ‘really enjoying life now’, his rescuer said
Anja Ringgren Lovén, a Danish care worker living in Nigeria, leads the children in her care in singing Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’.
In them, Hope – once on the brink of death – is seen playing football like any other happy, healthy young boy.
And no one was more elated than Anja who, after nursing him back to life, has come to see him as her own son.
‘Hope is like a son to me. Like the rest of our children I love him more than words can describe,’ she told MailOnline.
Reliving the moment she first laid eyes on his skeletal frame, Anja said: ‘I was so sick to my bones to see a two-year-old boy in such a horrible condition.
‘When we first entered the village I looked over my shoulders and slowly turned around to see Hope sitting on the side of the road.
‘I thought I was going to see a bigger boy but when I saw he was the size of a little baby, my whole body froze.
‘I became a mother myself 20 months ago and I was thinking of my own son when I saw Hope.’
He had been fending for himself on the streets for eight months since when Anja and her team rescued him in January.
The child was taken to hospital the same day, where doctors discovered he had contracted several diseases after living on the streets for so long.
He was immediately given medication to get rid of the worms in his stomach and daily blood transfusions to raise the number of red blood cells in his body.
Anja said: ‘He got the best treatment we could give him, and everyday my team and I was hoping that he would survive… Very quickly we discovered that Hope was a very strong boy. A little fighter.