Eyram is one of the first children enrolled at the La Grace Child Development Center, located about 50 kilometers from Lomé, Togo. She lives with Pierre, her father, and Julienne, her mother. Pierre is unemployed and Julienne is petty trader.
During the first days at the development center, we realized Eyram was often absent from Saturday activities. When we inquired about her absence, we were told she had a health issue that continually disturbed her. She was used to taking medications so numerous they could fill a room.
Eyram had suffered from a heart malformation since birth. According to medical reports, only surgery would save her life. When her father talks about his daughter, nothing restrains his tears.
“At the birth of Eyram, we noticed she was not breathing well.
When she breathed, it was easy to hear her snoring even more than 50 meters away. When we asked doctors, they convinced us that it was nothing serious. But she never stopped snoring.”
Eyram’s parents hoped against all odds that things would change, but her condition went from bad to worse when she began to have seizures. From one doctor to another, from one hospital to another, medical analyses revealed that Eyram’s heart was bent to one side.
In simple terms, she had a heart malformation. Doctors explained it was imperative for her to have surgery.
Pierre tells us,
“I remember when we came out of the doctor’s room, we collapsed. I personally did not know what to say. My wife and I burst into tears, because the doctor told us clearly that it will be extremely expensive.
He also said it should be done in a foreign country because they do not have the necessary expertise here in Togo. At that time, Eyram was only 15 months old.”
From that moment, the situation worsened. Eyram was placed under treatment, because her parents did not have the money for surgery. Paying for her medicine further complicated the family’s situation. Pierre struggled a lot to buy the needed medication.
The income of the family was just enough for survival. But now, it had to be shared in order to preserve Eyram’s life.
Every week, they needed at least $30 U.S. dollars to purchase the medication. Julienne shares,
“We spent all we had for Eyram’s survival. I had to sell some of my fabrics, my ornaments and some other things to buy her medication. It was not easy at all.”
When Eyram did not take all of her medication, she had seizures.
She lived in total fear.
But Eyram’s registration in our program changed everything in her life. Even her family found hope.
From the beginning, when we realized Eyram was sick, we were able to provide further medical analyses through Complementary Interventions funds. Whenever Eyram’s family spent money on her health, we reimbursed them. This assistance greatly lightened their burdens.
The family was no longer afraid, because they knew that we were there for them. Pierre shares,
“Since Compassion started reimbursing for Eyram’s health, we found hope for a better tomorrow. We were able to focus on the rest of the family’s needs, especially after I lost my job.”
To cure Eyram of her heart ailment, we decided to send her to Ghana for surgery. The child development center staff submitted a Complementary Intervention proposal that was quickly supported by the ministry. The total amount needed was about $13,900 U.S. dollars.
Thanks to this support, the operation was performed and Eyram found her smile.
The surgery brought new breath to Eyram and her parents. Eyram now loves playing with her many friends at the development center. She is actively involved in activities, even sports. She is dynamic and courageous.
Eyram dreams of becoming a medical doctor when she grows up.
For her parents, it is a great relief. The fear of losing their daughter and the despair of death gave way to hope.
“I was always afraid that my daughter was going to die, because I could not afford to give her the surgery. But today, I am very happy. When I see her, I see hope in her. I think she is a miracle of Compassion.”
In Hedome, the community where Eyram lives, La Grace Child Development Center inspires great admiration and trust. Many people knew how the parents of this little girl struggled to make ends meet. Today, all of them give glory to God for what the ministry did.