Healing Postponed: An Update From Uganda
So many of us have experienced having events both big and small canceled or postponed during the COVID_19 global pandemic. However, few of us have experienced the pain of having to postpone urgent and necessary surgery for our child for an unknown and extended period of time.
Before the pandemic took off around the world, our supporters helped fund heart surgeries for six children in Uganda waiting for heart surgeries that were unavailable in their country. They were accepted for surgery in India, and the families were filled with gratitude and relief that their children would have a chance for healing. Just before the families went to the embassy to request medical visas to travel to India, the borders closed, and they have been stuck in limbo waiting ever since.
We have been in regular contact with these families and are amazed at how they have faced this challenge with incredible grace and resolve.
Devon has been staying safely at home with her family during this time. They are waiting patiently for the travel restrictions to be lifted so that Devon’s heart can be healed.
Sweet Jeremiah is the son of a single mother who loves him beyond words. She has lost work and income during this time of the pandemic but has done her best to stay positive and focused on caring for her son.
We have been able to provide them with supplementary nutrition funds to help when they run low on food supplies. She also has continued to breastfeed Jeremiah, which is wonderful for his immune system and growth. Breastfeeding a child with a cleft lip and palate is not always an easy task, but Jeremiah’s mom is clearly a woman of great resolve and inner strength.
Precious Keri Annabel is the youngest of the children waiting for surgery, and she is also the most at risk of losing her eligibility for surgery due to the nature of her heart defect. If she goes too long without surgery, her lungs can be irreparably damaged.
Keri Annabel was quite sick with a respiratory infection in March and was hospitalized for a time, but she recovered well.
Lianah is the baby of her family and is clearly doted upon.
Her weight is not quite where we’d like it to be prior to surgery, but we have been sending her supplemental nutrition. Fortunately, she has gained a bit more weight over the past few months. Lianah really needs her heart repaired in order to be able to move up on the growth curve.
It’s good that Joyce and her mom clearly love each other so much! For many months now, they have been alone together in quarantine. Joyce has been sick several times during the past few months, and her mom has faithfully nursed her through each illness. They, too, are receiving supplemental nutrition funding.
Joyce’s mom is a woman of deep faith, patient and trusting in their wait. Her regular correspondence to us illustrates this and reflects her deep gratitude to donors for caring about her daughter and helping to make her heart surgery possible.
Shellie has a heart defect which makes her very starved for oxygen; her blue clubbed fingers that show the extent of this oxygen deprivation. Even with limited energy, however, she is full of charm and plenty of character.
We long for the day when Shellie has the physical energy to match the force of her personality, and for the day when her fingertips will no longer be blue.
We keep trusting that a way may open for these children to be able to get the surgeries they need before much more time goes by.
We are so grateful to our community for supporting them and ask you to keep these children and their anxiously awaiting parents in your thoughts and prayers.