The father’s love for his daughter was apparent from the moment he walked into the busy clinic. Despite the worry chiseled on his face, the clinic staff could tell that the larger-than-life man dearly loved his little Gladys. No matter how imperfect she may appear, he loved her unconditionally.
Born with a severe cleft lip, she habitually buried her face in her father’s chest. She didn’t want people to stare. At 12 months, Gladys already understood that she was different.
Born in the mountainous region of Santa Maria, Colombia, Gladys had been abandoned by her mother. Exasperated by the care required for a child with cleft lip, and embarrassed by her condition, her mother left Gladys in her father’s care. He was the only family she knew.
Raising a child with a severe facial deformity is challenging. Raising a daughter in a part of the world with limited medical care and social stigmas is overwhelming. Gladys’ father was desperate to help his only child. His love was abiding and ran deep.
He heard of a clinic that might help his small daughter; he dared to believe a miracle for his daughter was possible. Carefully he packed their suitcases for the eight-hour trip to the clinic staffed by medical missionaries from Heal the Children, Northeast. Gladys' father had sacrificed so much to raise her.
He cried when he arrived, having witnessed the passion of those who would care for his daughter. Finally, he could clearly see that someone would be able to help his daughter.
“The love between the father and daughter just melted our hearts, and it was apparent that he would do anything to help his daughter receive the necessary treatment to repair her cleft lip as they had traveled eight hours to get to us. Thankfully, we were able to repair Gladys cleft lip,” said Debbie Fritz one of the dedicated medical missionaries.
“I want to thank MAP for the suture material that we needed in helping to change the lives of these children and their families for the better.”
This account reminds us of another story of a parent’s love for their child. It reminds us of the Christmas Story of a mother and Son who sacrificed so much. One winter night, just before He was born, Mary searched for an inn to protect herself and her unborn child. She searched and ultimately delivered her baby in the darkness of a cold stable.
Just as Mary would do anything for her child, Gladys’ father would do anything for her. The story of unconditional love carries on.
As a MAP supporter, you played a critical role in this Christmas scene, more than 2,000 years later.
This Christmas will you help MAP provide love to more people in need of life-changing medicines and health supplies? Will you help us provide more miracles for desperate fathers and mothers who want the gift of health and hope for their children?
Between now and December 31, a generous group of donors has offered to match all donations made to MAP up to $100,000. Your gift will be twice as generous and help twice as many people. Thank you for supporting our efforts during this Christmas season.