Village Partners International
seeks to develop and enhance communities with profound need.
|Heart Surgery for Fahad Bukenya|
Fahad Bukenya was born May 27, 2007 in the country of Uganda. His was a normal delivery, and he began life as a normal child. But something was wrong. As time passed he did not thrive, he did not gain weight. He had no energy and just breathing became an effort. In December he was diagnosed with malaria, and while in the hospital, a loud heart murmur was heard.
And so began the journey of Fahad.
He was diagnosed with Tetrology of Falot, a devastating congenital abnormality of the heart, that, if not fixed, will result in death. There was no way to fix this in Uganda. There was no way to fix this in Africa. His mother, desperate, sent an e-mail out into cyberspace, hoping that somehow, someone would respond, and her infant son would be allowed the chance to live. Traveling across the miles, the words landed in a computer in Tampa, Florida. The e-mail asked for help.
In Tampa, the Rotary Club, in association with St. Joseph’s Hospital, has a program called “Gift of Life.” Through this program, children from third world countries with heart defects are cared for, and operated on, to restore life.
With the help of VPI, this child and his mother were brought to Tampa, where he was found to be so sick that he required ICU hospitalization for one week before he could have surgery.
He was 9 months old and weighed 14 pounds.
But his journey to Tampa was the beginning of a new life.
He underwent repair of his heart, by Dr. Paul Chai and the team at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and had an amazingly uneventful recovery. With time he was able to laugh, and play, and eat normally. He was able to become a child, a normal child, as his broken heart healed. He remained in Tampa for one month following his surgery.
VPI served as a conduit to allow help, and healing, for this small child and his mother. With the help of VPI, emotional, spiritual and physical support were given.
Fahad Bukenya has returned to Uganda. He has returned to a normal life, where he can grow into a future that lies beyond our ability to see. His healing was God directed, and God led, and stands as an affirmation that we are all interconnected, and as such, are brothers on this our earth.
VPI was created as a way to partner with people in need, to allow them a way to help themselves. By offering support during critical times, those with this need can be given the chance to continue on in the life that they are intended to lead. Fahad’s journey stands as example of this to us all.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2010
Fahad is healthy, happy, and growing very tall! He is expected to start kindergarten next year.