I have been remiss in not telling you about some special friends of mine in Uganda. I like to call them the “Cardiac Kids”! The amazing part about these kids is that we identified them all in the last few weeks that we were in Uganda. Most of their care was coordinated before we left, but a majority of their work up has been accomplished since we have been gone. Our work in Uganda is not finished! We are working through our local friends to continue medical clinics and TOP care for our special friends. Our team was actually in Rakai, on a road trip, for medical clinics this past week. They will be in Gaba for more clinics next week. Please keep them in your prayers.
Now let me tell you about the first two “Cardiac Kids”.
The first of these “That One Persons” is Kenneth.
He is a 9 year old boy from Rushere. We saw him in our community clinic that we did there about 5-6 weeks ago. He had a very loud murmur and was quite small for his age. He and his mother complained that he could not run and play, like his friends, because he would get too tired. The team from Riverpoint in Houston arranged for him to go to Mbarara, to get an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and see the cardiologist. He subsequently was seen at Mulago by the pediatric cardiologist. He has a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), or a hole in between the two ventricles. This allows blood to flow through his heart in an abnormal manner, allowing oxygenated blood to mix with unoxygenated blood. This requires an increased workload on the heart. In addition to the VSD, he has a PDA (patent ductus arteriosis). This is a hole between the left and right atrium. This too allows blood to mix, when it should not. He was told in Mbarara that the repair of these two problems, in combination, could not be done in Uganda. At Mulago, he was told that it can be done and he is scheduled for surgery on August the 20th. The heart problems have not cause long term damage to his heart at this point. He is a good candidate for a full recovery and to catch up with his peers. The cost of his hospitalization, surgery, travel and family care at the hospital will be right around $6,000 USD. That is a lot of money, but almost seems ridiculously cheap for open heart surgery that could save a 9 year old boy’s life! Please pray for Kenneth. If you feel God leading you to help with his care, please let me know.
The second of the cardiac kids is Lydia.
Lydia is an 8 year old girl that also comes from Rushere. She was presented to us by Dr. Abdul in Rushere. He knew that we had sent Kenneth to Mbarara to see the cardiologist. In fact, Dr. Abdul had taken time out of his schedule to ride the bus with Kenneth and his family to Mbarara to make sure that everything was taken care of and understood. Lydia came into the hospital in Rushere because she was short of breath. She was having some congestive heart failure and had a loud murmur. Dr. Abdul asked if we could “sponsor” Lydia to send her to see the cardiologist also. We agreed and she made the trip to Mbarara with Dr. Abdul also. She was found to have a PDA and some pulmonary hypertension. She had to go to Mulago by ambulance and be admitted to the hospital to see the pediatric cardiologist. She needs and emergency surgery to fix the PDA. This does not have a scheduled date, but we are praying that she will stabilize where she can have this surgery soon. She must be more stable to survive the surgery. She has some dilation of her heart, but this would hopefully normalize after correcting the PDA. Her surgery, hospitalization, medications and family care will cost about $1,500 USD. Please pray for Lydia to stabilize where she can have the surgery. If you feel called to help with her expenses, please let me know.
Can you imagine how these kids and their families will feel God’s love if we are able to provide resources to save their lives? These numbers of dollars seem cheap for heart surgery, to us. But to these families, that amount of money is not even imaginable. Simply stated, these kids will die barring a miracle or a successful operation. I feel blessed to have met them and to have a chance to work on God’s team to make a difference for them. I will profile the next two cardiac kids in the next couple of days. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the Due Unto Others team in Uganda.