We received countless stories from the field that touched our hearts in 2017. Stories came in from medical mission teams visiting communities around the world sharing their experiences of transforming lives through surgery or by providing life-saving medicines and supplies. MAP shares many of these with you through our Health and Hope blog, while others appear in our newsletter.
The resilience of each patient was palpable. Their gratitude immeasurable. Here is one of the best from 2017…
The 19-year-old girl from Qinyang, China wished for simple things: to feel the sun on her face, to laugh with her friends, to meet a boy, things most teenage girls enjoy without thought. Born with spina bifida and clubbing of both feet, she was unable to take more than a few steps or stand without support.
Her parents prayed for a miracle and wondered what the future would hold. There were no easy answers. Imagine if this was your child or grandchild.
Surgeries to correct her feet performed when she was younger left her with significant residual deformities and scarring. Walking was painfully difficult.
Doctors from the Chinese HIS Foundation first met the smiley teenager two years ago. She was like many children who experienced botched surgeries which would later create further harm. For this young lady, the mission team developed their surgical plan. The first corrective surgery would be conducted on her left foot. The following year her right foot would be repaired.
Surgeries like the ones this child needed represented the very reason why HIS Foundation exists. Founded 25 years ago, the HIS Foundation provides free, quality medical services for indigent patients in rural China. Each year numerous short-term medical mission teams provide much-needed outpatient and inpatient services.
The second surgery was completed in early 2017. Soon after her feet were reformed, she was fitted with shoes and fixed her eyes are retraining herself to walk with the aid of crutches.
Like a butterfly, she emerged from the cocoon of her parents home. She began to fly. With mobility came love. Like she had always dreamed, she met a boy. Then they were married. Today, after climbing imaginary mountains, she lives independently with her husband and shares the joy of her freedom from pain with her family and community.
This is a story of hope - a story of life-changing surgeries that allowed a young woman to soar. This is what happens because of you and your choice to support MAP International’s mission.
Thank you for helping us change people’s lives.
Editor's note: Patient's eyes are shielded to protect her identity.