We regularly help children with burns in hopes of preventing burn contractures which can leave them handicapped. But we donít normally help children who have been injured in a vehicular accident since the owner of the vehicle is legally responsible for taking care of anyone injured by their vehicle. Recently, the family of seven year old Rhian, a Grade 2 student, was hit by a motorella. This is a motorcycle with an attachment that can carry six to eight passengers. And this vehicle serves as a major means of transportation, especially for short distances within a municipality. No one is quite sure how it happened, but Rhian ended underneath the motorella and her lower arm came up against the scalding hot exhaust pipe. The result was a severe burn. Lea asked Diane whether we could assist this child. Since it was only a burn (no fractures) Diane told her we would make an exception for this child. She has been receiving daily dressing changes with the very expensive silver sulfadiazine burn ointment and the burn is gradually healing. We hope there wonít be a contracture at the wrist joint.
A group of surgeons came to Camiguin in October to do free surgeries. Lea went all around the island to visit all of our cleft patients and seven were healthy and ready for surgery. But when the day came, only two of the children were still without coughs or colds. So four year-old Zardo and thirteen month old Nino Jay had cleft lip repairs. Zardoís stitches came apart on one side, (his cleft lip is bilateral). This is the second time this happened to him, but he was biting the stitches and pushing at the suture line with his tongue. We will ask the doctor to repair his palate next time since his speech is being affected, and re-do the lip last. Nino Jayís lip looks good and seems to be healing well. He still needs a palate repair.
We have had five newborns with cleft lips and/or cleft palates this calendar year, up from the usual three.
Ten year old Regine was referred to us by her Grade 3
teacher at one of the schools where we sponsor school
supplies. She has strabismus or crossed eyes. The
optician ordered glasses with a prism. We hope it will
help correct the strabismus. And eighteen year old
Angela Cristine was referred to us by her Grade 12
teacher for help. She had already gone to the optician
for a refraction. And he prescribed glasses to correct
her far-sightedness and astigmatism (her high lens grade
makes us wonder how she could have learned to read, let
alone reach her last year of high school). Her parents
could not afford the glasses which cost about the
equivalent of twenty two dollars. So we helped her get
Some of our children attending the rehab center for physical therapy are making good progress. James, who is now four years old, can stand with a wall behind him for support. But he often gets so excited with delight that he falls over. He can also sit for long periods and is beginning to make more sounds and jabbers as he watches the TV at home.
On a recent visit to his neighborhood, Lea saw three year old Luis and he eagerly walked toward her from his fatherís arms. We have been helping him attend the rehab center for a little over a year and he just turned three years old. Luisís two year old brother, Clarence, who started rehab at the same time as Luis, is making slower progress. He can sit with a little support and rolls over. Luis says a few simple words, but no real conversation, while Clarence isnít verbalizing at all yet.
Clarence sitting up.
Irish May has spastic cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, and she is blind. Her mother had eclampsia and Irish was delivered via C-section. She was just over 3 years old in April, 2017, when she started receiving physical therapy at the hospital PT department, which is closer to her home. At that time, she could roll over and crawl, but she couldnít sit or stand. We are happy that she can now sit tailor fashion for short periods.
Irish May sitting up.
In one of the high schools where we sponsor students, fifteen out of the thirty three whom we sponsor were honor students at the end of the second quarter. At another high school, the new principal noticed that few of our sponsored students were receiving honors, so she challenged them to work harder, telling them that they should do their very best since they are receiving assistance from Family To Family. The students worked hard and twelve out of the thirty who are sponsored received honors at the end of the second quarter
We leave you with this poem by an unknown author:
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Feliz Navidad! Maayong Pasko! Maligayang Pasko! Joyous Kwanzaa!
Grace & Peace,
For photos of children being assisted, click here.
Contributions are IRS tax deductible (ID#42-1087104) and eligible for matching by employers. They should be payable to "Family to Family, Inc.". If in U.S. dollars, they should be sent to:
Family to Family, Inc.
c/o Availa Bank
126 W 6th St.
Carroll IA 51401-2341
Packages and peso checks should all be sent to:
Barrio Anito, 9100 Mambajao
Letters should be sent to:
3903 Pearl Avenue
Sophia, NC 27350