Children's Health

Starving toddler from viral photo thriving after rescue

  • Viral Starving Boy 1

  • In a photo posted January 31, Lovén is seen first meeting Hope.

    In a photo posted January 31, Lovén is seen first meeting Hope.  (Facebook/Anja Ringgren Lovén)

Eight weeks after being found starving and struggling on the streets, a 2-year-old Nigerian boy is healing after a Danish aid worker offered him refuge.

Aid worker Anja Ringgren Loven found the boy, named Hope after he was rescued, Jan. 31 and shared a photo on social media of him sipping water from a bottle. Hope had spent eight months fending for himself, and was starving and worm-riddled when Loven found him, 9 News reported.

Loven is the founder of African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation, which aims to aid children who, like Hope, have been branded witches by their families and cast out of the community.

Loven took the boy to a hospital, where doctors removed worms from his stomach and administered multiple blood transfusions.

Using $1 million in donations received since sharing her story, Loven helps pay for Hope’s medical bills. He was diagnosed with a genital birth defect, hypospadias, where the opening of the urethra forms abnormally. He’s scheduled to undergo surgery to correct the condition.

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Photos on Loven’s Facebook page show a seemingly healthier Hope, who appears to have gained some weight since his rescue. The images show him playing and looking at books with other children.