Mississauga resident hurt in accident in Africa

The Department of Foreign Affairs has stepped in to prevent what could have been a tragedy for a GTA family.

On Thursday, Michelle Senayah of Mississauga was nearly killed in a scooter accident in Africa. She suffered a fractured skull, swelling and bleeding of the brain and is now in a coma in Lomé, Togo.


Her doctors said if the 23-year-old was going to survive, she needed to get to a Westernized hospital as soon as possible. But one problem after another prevented her family from getting her on a plane.

The family contacted Helix International, a medical assistance service, and gave it $100,000 to transport her to London, England. But the company also required a $200,000 deposit to ensure the family could pay for her treatment.

The family originally wanted to bring Senayah back to Canada, but doctors said she couldn’t fly that long. Because of her injuries, any plane would need to travel at sea level to avoid a pressure increase. This meant the flight would take much longer.

Finally, all flights into Lomé require 24 hours’ advance notice.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, a foreign affairs representative contacted the family to say that outstanding issues between Helix, the hospital and the Togo government had been resolved.

Senayah was scheduled to be in the air last night.

Jonas Senayah, Michelle’s husband, was also riding on the scooter at the time of the accident, but he only suffered a broken leg and some bruises.

"It’s been awful. It’s incredible how one phone call can change your life," Elizabeth Smith, Senayah’s mother, said Saturday.

recovery hopeful

  • Doctors are optimistic that with the right treatment Senayah could recover. Initial tests suggest she is able to move her limbs.

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