After blood, sweat, and tears in Uganda with Leonidas, the surgery proved only partial successful. The skin graft healed and in doing so, pulled too tight on the face. So tight, the bottom eyelid cannot shut. This was the very thing we were trying to fix! Now, infection creeps inside the eye every time Leo is not taking constant antibiotics. The nose and mouth still need operated on, along with another surgery for the eye.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the family. Leonidas is down with yet another infection in his eye, and malaria at the same time. The mother just miscarried a child she wasn’t aware she had inside of her. Other children are sick with various things. As I was up to visit with them and take care of some medical issues, I was so overwhelmed! This was only one family. I couldn’t begin to imagine the hurt and pain going on around within the rest of the little community.
During some of these travels I had been sharing some stories on Facebook and through email, but did not expect to receive the following news in my inbox.
Shriners Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, had accepted to take on Leonidas’ surgery! As if I wasn’t in enough shock, the last paragraph addressed that the cost of operations, medication, food, and lodging would all be covered. How could this be true? Some of the best medical care imaginable for free?
A friend of mine, who had been quietly following me on Facebook, contacted Shriners and informed them of our needs. He asked me for some details about Leonidas, and the next thing I knew, I had this amazing message inviting Leonidas to Shriners Hospital.
I knew it would take time, money, and resources to make it happen. There were countless documents to find, plane tickets to buy, and meetings to arrange. As I lay in bed thinking about it, I thought of myself in Leonidas’ shoes. What if I was stuck in a village without any access to treatment? Wouldn’t I want someone to do something? The answer was quite simple.
We are looking for people to work together with us, allowing Leonidas some of the best treatment available. Many of you have asked, what can we do to help him? Now is the time. My great friend Alex has volunteered his time to travel with Leonidas and be his caretaker. Friends in the USA have been working hard to finish the administrative details. Now, all things are in place.
Shriners is ready, Alex is ready, and Leonidas is more than ready. I will join in saying, I’m ready! I’m ready for him to close his eyes at night. I’m ready for him to just play with the other kids with the ability to see, to shout, and breathe. I’m ready for people to stop looking at him in horror and start admiring the work God has done.
If you have thought about giving financially, we need to buy two round trip flights for Leonidas and Alex. Shriners is covering all food, lodging, and medical needs. If you or someone you know could help these two in Boston with transportation or general issues that come up, please get in touch with me.
It is such a miracle that we have this opportunity. Now, it is time to follow through! Our heart is to love on this little, three year old boy that he would feel so blessed he couldn’t help but grow up and love on the community around him.