Illionson came to GLA 9 months ago. He was born with a cleft lip and palate, bilateral club feet, and amniotic banding of his arm, legs, fingers, and toes. He was only a day or two old on admission. At first the father said that he and the mother had 7 other children and could not care for Illionson. He wanted to place him for adoption. But Illionson was a big baby and was doing very well and I thought if we could get some surgery for him for his cleft lip and palate and casting for his feet, then he could live a normal life with his family. From the beginning, I was praying that the family would reconsider taking him back home to live.
The first thing we did was send him to the orthopedic hospital for his club feet. They put him in casts and kept his casts on for several months. Each week, they would remove the casts, move his feet to straighten them a little bit more, and recast them. They have found that they can straighten out a child’s club feet with casting instead of surgery and they have very good results. He is done with casting now but has to wear special shoes at night when he sleeps that are attached to a bar and this keeps his feet in the proper position.
Then in November, Illionson was finally old enough to have surgery to close his cleft lip. He is not yet ready for the surgery required to close his cleft palate. That is scheduled for May 2015.
Today, his father came to visit. He didn’t think that Illionson would be able to go home but was very excited when we told him that Illionson could go home today and come back in February 2015 for his feet to be checked and then again in May 2015 for his surgery! He was so happy and said that the mother would be very happy too. She has not gotten to see or hold Illionson very much since his birth because they live several hours away, close to the Dominican Republic border. So we packed up some baby formula and sent him off with papa!
I want to thank everyone who has supported GLA in any way. One way your funds help is for a baby like Illionson and keeping them together with their biological parents. Our first choice is always that a child stays with the parents. We also realize that sometimes that is not possible, but in this case the parents hopefully can care for Illionson and keep him healthy now that we have helped him survive those first critical months as a newborn with multiple health issues.
Without your donations, we could not continue this part of the GLA project in Haiti. So THANK YOU so much! The last thing the papa said was “Thank you for helping Illionson!” He was talking about everyone who has helped through prayers, donations, or sponsorship!