At first no one knew why the 5-year-old girl could no longer move her legs or control her urine. For months she lay on the ground, unable to walk or play.
Some in the community blamed witchcraft but the real reason was more horrific: The child had been brutally raped and left paralyzed as a result of her injuries.
The case has brought the issue of sexual violence against children to the forefront in Sierra Leone, where such crimes are often dealt with between families in private. In February, President Julius Maada Bio declared sexual violence a national emergency and he has vowed to help the 5-year-old get medical treatment abroad.
But months later the girl's case has shown just how difficult combating sexual violence can be: Her father objected to the rape being tried in court, requiring police to issue a restraining order so she could continue receiving medical treatment. No court date has been set, not even a prosecutor chosen.
Little has changed, too, for the child whose life was so cruelly affected.
The man accused in the 5-year-old's case - who is her uncle - remains jailed without bail while his case is before the country's high court. A defense lawyer has yet to be assigned.
Health workers at the Aberdeen Women's Center have determined she was in fact only 4 when the rape took place. Those who have cared for her especially want to see the law fully implemented as a deterrent.
A year after the assault, the 5-year-old is still unable to walk, and has had to use a hand-crank wheelchair to move around the health center's grounds. She has been undergoing treatment for bed sores that developed on her back while she was immobile at home for months.
One of her leg bones has broken - health workers believe it is a complication of her paralysis - and now she lies in a hospital bed with her leg in traction.
A tiny foot with specks of pink nail polish peeks out of her cast, which is tethered to the metal bed frame. Nurses coax her to eat so that she can recover more quickly but she wants corn flakes, not rice for breakfast.
She has been out of school for a year and is getting restless.
'Even yesterday she was saying she wants to go to school and is going to need a motorbike,' her mother said in the local Krio language as she bounced her infant son on her lap. 'When her grandmother was here sometimes she would ask her grandma: 'When can I walk again?''
In February, President Julius Maada Bio (pictured) declared sexual violence a national emergency and he has vowed to help the 5-year-old get medical treatment abroad.