Peru – It didn’t take long after Kenny was born for his parents to realize that something serious was wrong. Their precious baby seemed abnormally tired and lethargic, and struggled to make it through feedings. He couldn’t seem to gain weight, and his skin took on a bluish tint.
After many tests, the doctors delivered the devastating news: Kenny had been born with tricuspid atresia, a heart defect that causes dangerously low oxygen levels in the blood. Without the necessary surgery, 90% of children born with this defect don’t live to see their 10th birthday.
For Kenny and his family, who live in the Andes Mountains of Peru, getting that lifesaving surgery seemed impossible. His parents didn’t have the resources to pay for such a specialized operation, and they lived so far away from any of the high-level medical facilities that the journey alone would be a financial burden.
All hope seemed lost. Kenny went home with his parents, who for several years lived each day just savoring the moments they had with their son. Without access to the surgery Kenny needed, they knew their time together would likely be short. Watching their little boy struggle to survive each day was heartbreaking.
But then finally, a glimmer of hope appeared. Kenny’s parents heard about a medical mission team that was coming to Lima, and they were offering free surgeries. Did they dare hope that these doctors could do the surgery that Kenny needed?
“As you can see, he recovered quickly and was back to reading his books and coloring”
Through God’s miraculous provision, they could. This particular mission team not only had a cardiothoracic surgeon with them, but they also came laden with surgical supplies donated by MAP International. They had everything they needed to perform the operation that would save Kenny’s life.
“Our team fell in love with Kenny,” said Dr. Kleinertz, the volunteer surgeon who performed the boy’s surgery. For being so young, Kenny showed such courage, and tolerated the operation well. “As you can see, he recovered quickly and was back to reading his books and coloring,” Dr. Kleinertz said.
Kenny soon returned home with his parents, where he is now living the carefree childhood that all children deserve. The gift that his parents received through Kenny’s surgery was more than just their son’s good health for the moment; in some ways, they felt like they had received their son back from the dead. Kenny is no longer living on borrowed time, but can now look forward to the future with confidence and excitement.