Sunday, July 1, 2012

To the Heart of the Matter

This blog will be part two of the information regarding the Cardiac Kids.  I profiled Kenneth andLydia on my blog a few days ago.  Before I move on to introduce you to the other two heart patients, I would like to update you on Lydia.  I just got word from Dr. Martin this morning, and he says that Lydia has stabilized on some new medication.  She has been scheduled for surgery on August 2nd, as long as she remains stable.  Please pray that, over the next 32 days, she will remain stable and be able to have the procedure done.  Compared to the other Cardiac Kids, this procedure is more simple, but her disease has progressed to more problems.

The third “That One Person” with heart problems is Mercy. 

She is 2 years old and, like Lydia and Kenneth, is from Rushere.  We noticed her in the Rushere clinic that we did 6 weeks ago.  She was very afraid of Mzungus, so it was hard to examine her.  In fact, despite her big heart problem, I could not determine a murmur over the screaming.  We did notice the “clubbing” of her fingers.  This is a problem where the finger tips get thicker in response to chronic low levels of oxygen.  We see it commonly in people with chronic COPD.  She went on the bus to Mbarara with Dr. Abdul and then to Mulago.  She has been found to have Tetralogy of Fallot.  This is a problem where parts of the heart and big vessels entering or exiting the heart are on the wrong side.  This is a surgery that cannot be done in Uganda, except for the fact that a visiting surgeon from the West (UK I think), comes to do surgery.  She has been put on medicine, and awaits the visiting surgeon for her operation in December.  This will be the most complicated and expensive surgery of the 4.  We don’t have an exact amount for that surgery yet, because they are still pricing and getting some of the supplies that they will need for the surgery.  I am estimating that this operation, and care surrounding it, will cost around $10,000 USD.  What a blessing that she will be able to have this done without traveling to another country.  If she had needed to come to the US, her costs and family disruption would have been much greater.

Our fourth Cardiac Kid is Joseph. 

Joseph is a 12 year old boy from Soroti.  We found Joseph on our last trip that we made while in Uganda.  We saw him on a Saturday, and were standing in Oklahoma the following Friday.  He is easy going young man with a big smile.  The interpreter, that I was working with in Soroti, pointed out Joseph to me because he had noticed that Joseph was not growing and seemed to have muscle wasting.  He wanted me to check him over to make sure that he did not have a big illness going on.  Joseph’s heart murmur gave away at least one of his problems.  He was seen at Mulago, and found to have a large PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosis) that is causing some dilated left heart chambers and some pulmonary hypertension.  The PDA allows blood to flow in the wrong direction in his heart. Joseph has been put on medication and scheduled for surgery on August 20th.  The estimated cost for the operation, hospitalization, medications, and family travel will be $1,500 USD.  He has some dilation of his heart, but this should improve if the problem is corrected.

Please join me in praying for Joseph and Mercy.  They have life saving and life changing surgeries coming up.  We are praying that the healing that they receive will be a display of God’s love to their families and their villages.  We pray that people will be drawn to Jesus from their care.  If you feel called to help with these two awesome kids, please email me at  I’d be happy to give you more information about these kids and their families. 

Here is a quick update on my buddy Jamil.  I got an email from Pastor Fred this week that said that Jamil has moved into the boarding school and is progressing well in his classes.  The Due Unto Others supporters have sponsored Jamil through the end of 2012 by paying for his school, room and board and by getting his uniforms, bedding, towels, shoes etc. 

You can see from this picture that Jamil is happy about this new lease on life that he has received after having the large tumor removed from behind his eye.  Thank you to all who have been praying for Jamil and for those who have helped sponsor his surgery and school. 


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