Four girls. Four serious heart problems. Only God knows the future for these girls, but there is an opportunity for all of us to participate in it . . .
Several months back, I found myself at Kiwoko hospital. I was waiting outside of the lab with a child and another staff member for some results. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Boda Boda drive by. A Boda Boda is a motorcycle with an extended back. It’s used in multiple ways including, but not limited to, transporting food, coffins, animals, and people. It’s economical and convenient… in most situations. I am not sure what exactly caught my eye. It seemed at quick glance to be a normal situation. A driver and two men sitting directly behind him. But I quickly realized that something was not ok with the man in the middle. He was visibly weak and wobbly. The man behind him was holding him up as the weakened man leaned against the driver. The Boda Boda was leaving the hospital. This man visibly ill and weak was leaving the hospital. And instead of leaving in the comfort of an ambulance or the backseat of a car, he was leaving on the back of the Boda Boda. At first, my heart did a few hiccups. No, maybe they were stronger than a few hiccups. My heart felt the pang of sadness for a man leaving a hospital weak and on the back of a motorcycle. And almost as quickly as the seemingly injustice of it surfaced, so did the realization of the picture of pure brotherhood. Two men holding up the frame of a weakened man. That man was able to rest literally in the arms and against the frame of two men who were committed to his journey home. There would undoubtably be bumps and obstacles on their way home. That’s not a presumption, it’s a reality. Roads in Uganda are well, to keep it simple, bumpy. But that man didn’t haver to worry about them. He could (and he did) close his eyes and rest. My throat burned with the emotion of seeing something absolutely beautiful. And I knew that my God had averted my eyes. He had wanted me to see this stunning picture of brotherhood…. of community.
And even today as I bring fingers to keyboard and share about four little girls each unique, but all facing significant heart conditions, I rest in knowing that God has these little girls. The picture of community that God showed me months back is an encouragement for today. These girls are surrounded by community, they are surrounded by a God who loves them immensely and has His best in mind for them. No matter their outcome, I rest in knowing that He is with them. And in the meantime, I am committed, as I believe we all are, to loving them well and facilitating to the best of our ability the spiritual, physical, and emotional care that they need. Let me introduce you to these little girls.
Age: She will make 4 years this month (August 2013)
Weight: 7 kg (expected weight for a child her age: a minimum of 18 kg)
Condition: Shakira had an echo in April of this year. The results showed that she has a large secundum ASD (hole between the atriums of the heart) with a Left to Right Shunt. She has dilated right heart chambers and has mild Pulmonary Hypertension which is a complication to her heart condition
Need for surgery: Urgent. Shakira’s overall strength has decreased over the last several months. About two weeks ago, she was started on a high calorie, high protein supplement and this has resulted in an increase in energy. It is the hope that this supplement will give her body the calories that it needs to maintain her and help her body in the coming weeks/months before surgery
Cost for surgery: approximately $6,000 dollars.
Age: 10 years
Weight: 18 kg (expected weight for her age: approximately 35 kg)
Condition: Large PDA (hole in the heart)
Need for surgery: Urgent: Scheduled for closure of PDA in the Cath lab at Mulago Hospital sometime in October
Cost for all care: estimated at approximately $600 dollars (this mainly goes
towards testing, medications, transportation to/from medical appointments, procedure cost)
Age: 1 1/2 years
Condition: Fatiyah was born with Aperts Syndrome a congenital deformity that has significantly affected the development of her skull. Faitya has a large sinus venous defect of her heart with a left to right shunt.
Need for Surgery: Urgent. Fatiyah needs her heart defect repaired before she can have the surgery on her skull. The high pressure in her brain affects her eyes and compromises the development of her brain. After she has the repair of her heart, she will be able to have surgery on her skull.
Cost for surgery: approximately $6000 dollars for the heart surgery. Surgery on her skull has not yet been approximated.
Esther (no picture available):
Esther came into the clinic a few months back with an unrelated health issue. During a listen to her chest, an abnormality was heard. She was subsequently taken to Mulago hospital for further assessment. A hole in her heart was identified.
Age: 4 years (approx.)
Weight: appropriate for age.
Need for Surgery: At this point, doctor’s are wanting to give her heart time and see if the hole will reduce in size and/or close.
Cost of Surgery: unknown at this time.
Plan: Ensure that Esther will be closely monitored by a doctor and follow his recommendations.
We don’t know what God has planned for these little girls. But no matter the outcome, I know that His ultimate desire for them, is that they would know Him and that He would be glorified through their lives. If you feel led to pray for these little young girls, thank you. If you feel led to give financially towards the needs of these young girls, please follow the link below. Other opportunities to come alongside others facing other life-challenging medical conditions will undoubtably arise. If you feel led to support a general medical fund for such medical situations, please feel free to follow the link. Our God is all about holding His children up. He is the ultimate sustainer. I rest in that for myself. I rest in that for these young girls. I rest in that for each one whose eyes fall upon these words.
To donate towards the needs of the these four girls please click here: DONATE FOR HEART SURGERIES (then follow the instruction to give). Please write what the gift is for in the comments section.
To donate towards the New Hope General Medical fund, please click here: DONATE FOR GENERAL MEDICAL FUND (then follow the instruction to give). Please write what the gift is for in the comments section.
Nurse at New Hope Uganda Kasana Children’s Centre