Uganda Pediatric Surgery Mission: Day Four
The medical team in Uganda has definitely found an amazing rhythm, as today 38 children received operations. That is something truly wonderful to celebrate! Let’s all give a standing ovation to this amazing group of doctors and nurses who have come together at Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital this week with the sole purpose of helping kids find healing.
Before we share some of the children’s stories who received surgery today, we want to share an update on tiny Baby Maryika. She is the one we told you about yesterday who had pyloric stenosis and was rapidly losing weight.
We are thrilled to report that the surgery was a complete success. Maryika’s mom was able to feed her today, and all the nutritious milk stayed right in her tummy where it belongs. Such an enormous joy.
And now onto some of the stories from today!
This beautiful little girl is five-year-old Witness.
She lives with her grandmother after the sad loss of her parents. For a number of months, Witness has had great pain in her stomach. Her grandmother, who has no source of steady income, knew she couldn’t afford treatment at a hospital, so she resorted to giving Witness herbal medicine instead. When the pain wouldn’t go away, she rushed her granddaughter to the hospital for help. After a checkup, she was told that little Witness had a hernia that needed surgery. Fortunately, the doctors had just heard about our pediatric surgery mission, and they told her they would work to get her granddaughter a spot. Her heart leaped for joy when she received a call that Witness had been put on the surgery schedule. With tears in her eyes, she expressed gratitude to everyone who made it possible.
We’d also like you to meet two-year-old Lambert, who has suffered from a large hernia since birth.
As a baby, he experienced a lot of pain which his parents tried to solve with medicine. Months later, the pain worsened, so they went to seek help at a hospital. They were told that their son’s pain would not go away without an operation. This was a blow to their hearts as they had no funds available to heal their little boy.
Early in the month of August, however, they heard an announcement on the radio about an upcoming opportunity for children to receive free surgeries during our pediatric surgery mission. They quickly ran to the hospital to submit their son’s name. Today, they were so happy that their son finally received his operation after enduring two years of pain. We all can’t wait to see Lambert smiling and laughing once his surgery incision heals.
For anyone keeping track, today’s surgeries put the number of children receiving operations this week at over 100…and there are still two days of the mission coming up! We’re sure you can imagine all the activity both inside and outside the hospital with so many little patients being seen. Our team has been working nonstop each day, trying to make sure the children have as much fun as possible before it’s their turn to head into the OR.
And every day…all day…we’re connecting with the families. An important part of this special week is to simply listen to their stories in order to bring comfort to those feeling overlooked and brokenhearted.
So many families have waited years for the medical care their children need. Their determination to never give up searching for help is inspiring, and the love on display has touched our hearts.
Before we close this blog today, we want to share one final story about a special girl named Lucia. When she was just a toddler, her mother told us that her daughter’s eyes “got so sick.” Doctors told Lucia’s mom that her little girl needed immediate medical intervention, but because of the impoverished family’s inability to pay for treatment, the spreading infection went untreated. When Lucia was three years old, doctors felt nothing more could be done except to remove the little girl’s eyes.
A few months after losing her sight, Lucia’s abdomen began to swell in a startling way. When Lucia’s mom took her to the hospital, she was told that her daughter had a large umbilical hernia that needed immediate surgery. An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the bowel or fatty tissue in the abdomen pokes through a weak spot or opening near the belly button. As you can see from this photo, Lucia was suffering from an extremely large one.
As a poor farmer, Lucia’s mom couldn’t come up with the funds needed for the operation her daughter needed. We are just so grateful she learned of this first LWB pediatric surgery mission. Today, after years of waiting, Lucia had surgery at last to repair her hernia, and it was a success.
The burden of not being able to provide for her daughter medically has been a heavy one, and this week has given Lucia’s mom so much relief and joy in her heart.
She sent this message to those who gave to make the surgeries possible: “Thank you so much. You have relieved us of so much pain. I can’t pay you, but I ask God to bless you.”
Beautiful Lucia, we want that for you as well. We wish you every possible blessing in your life.
We’ll share more stories tomorrow as the fourth OR day gets underway. For now, we’ll share a few more beautiful faces of the children helped today.
Each and every one is so precious and amazing. Thanks for standing with us to ensure even more children can receive the healing they deserve.