Urgent surgery needed for six-year-old Mary

Ghana (MNN) – Six years old is a time when children seem to have boundless energy. When exhaustion comes only after a long day of playing and learning. But for six-year-old Mary, life isn’t like that.

Brianne McKoy, Relationship Manager of Bloggers for Compassion International says, “Mary is a sweet beautiful six-year-old child living in desperate poverty in Ghana. And at about six months old, she started having complications. And her parents were able to take her to a hospital, but they weren’t able to get her the care that she needed because it’s expensive.

“And since six months ’til now, she’s been living with this condition—this hole in her heart. And it just makes life very difficult for her. She can’t play without running out of breath. She can’t walk long distances without needing to sit down.”

(Photo and header photo courtesy of Brianne McKoy)

Mary’s rare condition is called Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Ventricular Septal Defect (VCD) and Sub-aortic Membrane. Along with running out of breath and being tired, Mary is more susceptible to illness and has lost weight because of a loss of appetite. She is even at risk for an early death.

In other words, Mary isn’t living the life of a typical child. Her quality of life, McKoy says, is quite horrible. But last May, she was introduced to a local church in her community. This church happens to be a partner church with Compassion International. And as soon as she could get registered with Compassion’s program, they intervened.

And now, Compassion is raising money to help get Mary the surgery she needs to be healed. For an open-heart surgery, they’re trying to raise $15,000.

Compassion International exists to release children from poverty in the name of Jesus. McKoy explains that this surgery for Mary falls under that umbrella goal:

“Poverty comes in all kinds of different forms: not having enough food, not having clean water, not having the ability to get education, and not having the ability to get regular medical checkups. And so, as Compassion’s mission to release the child from poverty, we need to attack all areas of poverty, including the medical side.”

“She was constantly losing weight, running a very high body temperature regularly, coughing seriously and profusely sweating all the time, and she had a lot of boils,” said Mary’s mother, Susana, of her daughter as an infant. (Photo and quote courtesy of Compassion International)

Compassion’s Medical Assistance fund is for children whose needs go beyond regular checkups and routine medicine. But since Mary’s surgery is so urgent, they’ve also started up a GoFundMe page to raise that money.

You can read more about Mary’s story at McKoy’s blog, here.

To support Mary financially for this surgery, click here.

And finally, please keep her in your prayers:

“Ultimately, just pray for full healing of her heart and that she can receive and return to the childhood that she deserves to have. And I would also say, prayer for her parents as they’ve been walking through this, watching their little girl be so sick over the past five years.”

To Compassion, Mary’s mother said, “It is my prayer that [Mary] will be healed of her ailment so that she will live and exhibit all her potentials for all to see the glory of God in her life.”