Dailymail UK reports that Dunia, alongside two other boys
(Dunia’s 4-year-old brother and his young cousin) were brutally attacked by chimpanzees as they played near a preserve in their native Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While Dunia was left severely disfigured, his other two friends did not survive the sad incident. Dunia’s lips were ripped off and one cheek torn apart, leaving him with muscle damage that make it hard for him to eat, swallow and communicate.
Fast-forward to two years later, 8-year-old Dunia is set to undergo a rare and complicated surgery at a Long Island hospital. The surgery will use tissue and muscle from his forearm to recreate both lips. The hope is that he will once again be able to open and close his mouth, and eat and talk normally.
Dr. Leon Klempner, an associate professor of dentistry at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, where Dunia will undergo the operation, said:
Dunia now finds it very difficult to eat or talk normally and is to undergo surgery in Long Island. Dr. Alexander Dagum, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital (pictured), believes there are only three other documented cases where the same surgery has been performed
‘As you can imagine, not having any lips, the food can just come right out.’He drools all the time and can’t pronounce different words.’We’re feeling very optimistic. We’re hoping after the surgery he’ll reintegrate into society and perhaps go back to school or have some semblance of a normal life.’