LWB Community Blog


Standing with Mothers: Meet Rory

All this week, we’re raising funds for our Unity Initiative, which provides essential medical care for children whose impoverished families cannot afford their surgeries. Today we’d like to introduce you to nine-month-old Rory, whose life now depends on the kindness of strangers.

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Stories of Hope: Frannie

We first met four-year-old Frannie back in June. This sweet little girl had been born with a large Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) in her heart. With this medical condition, blood flows through the lower chambers of the heart into the lungs, forcing them to work harder. Over time, a large VSD can lead to the development of pulmonary hypertension, stroke, and sadly even heart failure. Frannie’s mom had written an emotional letter to LWB asking for help for her daughter. She told us that Frannie had been weak since birth, prone to fevers and colds, and often needing to be rushed to the hospital when she fell ill. When a doctor finally told the mom this year that Frannie had a heart defect, she said that her world fell apart.

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Unity Update: Selia, Bella, and Pete

Recently, seven-year-old Selia was taken to the hospital with pneumonia and could not easily recover. Doctors told her concerned family that she had a VSD heart defect that needed repair. The hospital told the family about our Unity Initiative, a program to help impoverished families remain together by funding medical care. Next, a generous supporter of our Unity Initiative funded Selia’s heart surgery, and she arrived at the hospital yesterday to prepare for surgery.

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Unity Update: Cody and Drew

Now that COVID-19 has stabilized in China, our Unity Initiative is once again receiving new children into our program and providing life-saving surgeries to children from rural areas of Anhui province. We recently welcomed two new children into our program: Cody and Drew. Cody was diagnosed with his heart defect when he was less than one week old. This news was “snow plus frost” to his parents who did not want to believe it was possible. They took him to several different hospitals, hoping someone would give them a different diagnosis, as they knew they could never afford the costs of heart surgery on the father’s meager and sporadic income.

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Stories Of The Heart: Clara

There’s a certain joy that comes when new Unity photos and referrals come in. Another chance for hope, another heart to be healed, another family that will remain together — as they always should be. This is especially true for little Clara.

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Stories of the Heart: Warrior Cousins Bethany and Haley

When we turned down the road headed towards their home, they were waiting at the corner:  smiling, waving, flagging us down. Little Bethany was holding tight to both of their hands, her mama and baba. Before we were even out of the car, they were lifting her up and holding her out for us to see. “Look! Look! Look how much she’s grown! She’s so much stronger now! She can walk and run! She is getting into EVERYTHING!”

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Stories of the Heart: Taisley, Strong and Mighty

From the very first photos we received of Taisley her mischievous smiling eyes and little hands thrown up in her trademark peace signs, she captured all of our hearts. I read her story, how her family took her to the doctor over and over as she fought pneumonia time and time again. I heard the pain in their words as they wrote, “The doctors have said without surgery, her heart has no chance to heal.”

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We Stand With Families: Mary Martha

When we first learned of five-year-old Mary Martha earlier this year, she had become so weak from her complex heart defect that she could no longer walk for more than a minute or two at a time. Mary Martha’s life was truly in danger, and her mother was desperate to find help. Surgery in Uganda was not an option for Mary Martha due to the severity of her heart condition (Tetralogy of Fallot), so when she was accepted for surgery in Israel, we all celebrated. 

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We Stand With Families: Oliver Then and Now

Last year, the hearts of everyone in our LWB community were touched by the plight of Oliver, a little boy born with Down Syndrome. He was adored by his family, who became alarmed by his frequent coughs, breathing distress, and blue lips. Doctors diagnosed Oliver with a severe heart defect. but the hospitals his mom reached out to for help all said they wouldn’t take his case due to his special need.  His mom refused to give up, however, as she believed her son was worthy of being healed.

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We Stand With Families: Celine

Celine’s mother wrote to us pleading for help for her only child, “I am kindly asking you to help save my baby’s heart,” said Nassiwa. Celine began showing signs of distress immediately following her birth in January of this year. It has been an extremely difficult time for her mother. Celine is frail and sickly, and when she was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot at three months old, her father abandoned his family. Doctors said that Celine needs open-heart surgery to be healed, but no such treatment is available in Uganda.

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