‘The lame walk; the blind receive their sight’
Sisters Helen Delaney and Anne Mary Nakanjakko are based in Masaka. While visiting homes in their community they have met many people unable to access even basic necessities. They told us about Catherine*, now facing the future with hope.
‘Catherine is nineteen years old, the eldest in a family of five children. She lives in Masaka District, Uganda. Her parents are poor and struggled to care for their children.
‘When Catherine was in secondary school, an illness caused swelling of her legs. She could not continue her education or get proper treatment because of poverty, so her health deteriorated. Her mother, not able to cope with seeing her child suffering, with no food and no money for treatment, left the family. Catherine’s father was had five children to care for and Catherine with a serious illness.
‘We met Catherine during our home visits and felt we could help. We talked with her father about bringing her for treatment and he agreed. We brought her to Kisubi-Kampala, where she had surgery. Sadly, it was necessary to amputate both legs at the ankle, which was devastating for her. Catherine wondered if she would ever get well and we encouraged her during this time. When her legs healed she received artificial limbs and learned how to walk again. Catherine’s joy in being able to walk radiated to all who met her.
‘At this point Catherine had been ill for a long time and it was difficult for her to return to school. She wanted to have skills so she could earn some money for herself and her family. She was enthusiastic about going to vocational school. We brought her to a school where she learned hand and machine tailoring, craft making, knitting and other skills. She was determined to put these skills into practice and is now earning money.
‘Catherine said, “It meant everything that somebody cared for me. The time was a nightmare and I thought I would die. I could not imagine walking again and doing things for myself. I am so grateful to the MMMs who brought me healing and hope. May God bless you. I can walk and I have skills for life.”’
Sister Helen wrote about bringing light into one family’s darkness.
‘Six-year-old John* has three brothers and a sister. His twin brother has died. John was born blind, with two cataracts. He lives with his grandmother, who is very frail and could not afford to take him for treatment.
‘At one of the eye camps we sponsor, it was discovered that he was totally blind. I took him to Ruharo Eye Hospital, where he had successful surgery. He can now see with both eyes.
‘It is wonderful to see John walking, jumping, and running, which he couldn’t do before. Like any child his age he is very excited that he can ride a bicycle. Though his grandmother still has financial constraints, she is very happy. John can read and has started school. His future will be a brighter one, in every way.’
And then there is Maria*
‘Maria is four years old. When she was born she had severe contractures in the tendons in her feet and was unable to walk. We arranged for her to be assessed by a surgeon. After some very challenging operations Maria is now walking normally.
‘Thank you for bringing hope to these young people and their families.’
* Not their real names