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  • Writer's pictureGLA Team

An Angel is getting a Pacemaker

We are bombarded with bad news: inflation, gas prices, food prices, and an impending recession. We all could use a little good news. This story of hope and love should bring a breath of fresh air to all the heaviness that we hear daily. A precious angel came to an orphanage just over seven years ago. Her mother, an 18-year-old child herself, made the heart-wrenching decision to bring her beautiful little girl to the doorsteps of God’s Littlest Angels (GLA). As a senior in high school, she realized she could not care for her baby in the poverty-stricken country of Haiti.

God’s Littlest Angels Ministry welcomed this precious infant with open arms. She has been living at GLA ever since waiting for her “forever” home. “Sister” as we call her to protect her identity, has been thriving at GLA surrounded by other children that have needed a home. At the beginning of 2022, when Sister had a routine medical exam, the doctor noticed that she had a heart murmur. Her heartbeats were “way below normal,” leading to more tests and a final diagnosis that Sister would need a pacemaker.

Time to Pray...

The question then became, how do you get a pacemaker for an 8-year-old child in the most underdeveloped country in the western hemisphere? It all begins with prayer. Prayer for direction, guidance, and support became the first step in what seemed like an impossible challenge. As time clicked off the calendar, GLA started a fundraising campaign, and donations began to come in. Estimates for the surgery, hospital stay, and travel expenses seemed overwhelming initially, resulting in many dark days for the leadership team at GLA. So how can we raise that amount of money in a short period of time? No answers were forthcoming. As if the procedural costs weren’t challenging enough, there were additional concerns related to the pandemic. Add to that, the country’s internal unrest associated with the collapse of the government, skyrocketing inflation, and this predicament was beginning to look insurmountable. The reality was setting in, GLA had moved the needle very little for getting this life-saving surgery scheduled. After countless hours of prayer and worry, then came a glimmer of hope. A hospital in Chicago offered to donate the hospital stay. GLA would have to raise money for the surgeons and other medical expenses, but at least God gave us a small miracle. Again, the leadership team set out to raise funds for the procedure. Donations started coming in, but we were significantly short of the goal, and the timeline for the surgery was becoming a concern.

Time for a Miracle

GLA needed another miracle, and they needed it soon. Time to call in some favors. Trey Starnes, Executive Director of GLA, started by picking up the phone. He reached out to a fellow church member that worked at Atrium Health Care and shared with him this story. His friend started working behind the scenes. Meetings were held, connections were made, and between the two of them, all the dots were connected. A few weeks later, Trey was notified to gather Sister’s medical records, and someone from the hospital would reach out to them for next steps. Shortly after that, a flurry of activity began. The hospital would donate the stay, all the pre-op tests, surgery, post-op tests, and follow-up appointments. This little angel, who has never left the GLA campus, much less been on a plane and doesn’t speak English, would be receiving a pacemaker from a doctor, at a hospital, in a country she has never seen. How does this happen? Becky Leib, president of the GLA board, put it this way: “All of us at God’s Littlest Angels are amazed by how God has made a way for this little girl to get the lifesaving treatment she needs. God has miraculously provided her with a US Visa, passport, and a surgeon willing to donate his time and expertise. Each hurdle in this medical journey is a testimony on how God provides. We are so grateful.” So many pieces of a challenging puzzle have come together in such a short period of time. How does Trey feel about this unfolding miracle, “From diagnosis to monitoring to treatment, Sister’s story is a testament to the love and care our team provides to each of our children daily. God works miracles through GLA, and we are so grateful for each one, old and new. I’d like to say a special “thank you” to the team at Atrium Health for stepping in to perform this life-saving procedure for Sister, granting her a better quality of life moving forward.”

A Story of Hope and Love

The hope is that a little girl in a poverty-stricken country can receive the care she needs and the love of people willing to give so sacrificially to help a child they don’t even know. When the news story of the day seems negative, remember this little Angel who had all the chips stacked against her, has found her miracle in Charlotte, NC. We will be providing updates to Sister’s story all along the way. Her surgery is scheduled for September 2nd. Please follow us on FB to see her progress. And remember, miracles happen each day. Are you another child’s miracle?

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