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Damba Koroma was born during a war over diamond mines in Sierra Leone. Rebels came to her village when she was just 5 years old. They chopped off the hands of 20,000 villagers, including Damba. Damba and her mother rushed to the hospital as soon as possible. They both were bleeding from cut hands and it took Damba and her mother three days to reach the nearest hospital while her mother held her, attempting to keep the blood from flowing.
Damba found the opportunity to come to America, and immediately took it. Her mother was left in Africa, and Damba wishes to see her mother again, but now lives in Washington D.C. with foster parents.
"They laid me on the ground. They put my left hand on the root of a cotton tree. Then they chopped it off. They chopped off my hand."
Source: Smith, Tracy. "African War Victim Inspires Others." The Early Show 09 Jun 2006 21 Jul 2006 <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/06/09/earlyshow/contributors/tracysmith/main1696976. shtml>.