Looking at the photo of Joshua’s grotesque, bulging left eye was difficult, and my heart immediately went out to him. I began doing what I could to help him. That was several months ago.
Seeing photos of Joshua didn’t prepare me, however, for meeting him face to face this past February. I shuddered in horror when I looked into his eyes—his condition worsened since the original photos were taken—but my heart quickly melted with love as this sweet 6-year-old crawled up on my lap. He didn’t return my gaze, however; he’s now totally blind.
Joshua is afflicted with Marfine’s Disease, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue that causes symptoms ranging from severe nearsightedness to detached lenses and total blindness. Heaven’s Family has been helping him and his siblings, Fanuel and Naomi, whom I also met, for the past several months through gifts to the Critical Medical Needs Fund. Fanuel and Naomi also have Marfine’s, but their symptoms are much less severe—and, thankfully, still treatable.
I spoke to Joshua softly as I lifted him into my lap. I gave him the small stuffed animal I had brought for him—the one I had almost left at home because it rattled like a baby’s toy, something I thought a 6-year-old wouldn’t like. But God knew better. A toy that made a sound was perfect for a now-blind boy. It ting-tingled as he shook it.
Joshua needs a miracle. After an infection clears up, doctors plan to remove his left eye. Neither his doctors nor his mother know what’s next after that. Naomi received an operation on one of her eyes and will have to other eye corrected soon. Fanuel has been fitted for special glasses that should help him see better.
Before we left we visited Chenani Village School, where Joshua and his siblings attend, thanks to school fees being paid by a friend of Heaven’s Family. Thankfully, the school has a sight-impaired teacher, and he is teaching all three children how to read Braille. Please continue to pray for a miracle for Joshua! I will keep you posted.
Thank you for your wonderful generosity that enables Heaven’s Family to reach out to Joshua and many others who are in desperate need of medical care.
May God bless you,
Director, Critical Medical Needs Fund