#RealStory: African Man Receives Free Operation After Connecting With a Surgeon Through RealSelf

Jager Weatherby on 16 Jun 2014 at 10:30pm

African Man Receives Free Keloid Surgery After Connecting With Doctor Through RealSelf

With the internet becoming increasingly prevalent in our lives, many of us forget to step back and appreciate the power it can really have. Yet occasionally a story comes along that reminds us how this connectivity can alter people’s lives, such as it did with one RealSelf user whose serendipitous meeting resulted in a procedure he’d been waiting to receive for nearly two decades.

In early 2014, a Tanzanian man named Clement Kihitula sought help to remove a large keloid from the nape of his neck. The excessive scar tissue had been plaguing Clement since 1995, but he never had the means to afford surgery.

Clement’s search for treatment lead him to RealSelf, where he posted a question to our doctors about removing the growth. In a mere matter of days, Dr. Stephen Weber, a facial plastic surgeon based in Denver, CO, reached out to Clement with a life-changing response.

“Because of my keloid problem, I came to find the website RealSelf,” Clement explains. “I posted my question, how to remove and be cured from the keloid. Dr. Weber answered by question and said that he would be in Tanzania from the 15th to the 22nd of March.”

Dr. Weber met Clement at the Singida Regional Hospital during a medical mission less than one month later. It was there that he performed surgery on Clement’s keloid without charging him a cent.

While chatting with Clement before the procedure, Dr. Weber revealed how awestruck he was by the situation. “The interesting thing to me was that when I met you [for the first time at the hospital], I walked up and you were on the internet, surfing my website. I’ve never seen that before. We’re seeing that more and more with better connectivity to the internet. You have the same experience that our patients do at home, which is really exciting.”

Watch the video below to see more of Clement’s touching story.

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