When a Family Can’t Afford Emergency Surgery

NOTE FROM EDITOR: This content honors Compassion’s historical work in India. While we no longer have an India sponsorship program, we are grateful for the lives changed and meaningful work achieved through our sponsors and donors in our nearly 50 years there. For a detailed explanation of the end of our sponsorship program in India, please visit: compassion.com/india-update.

Superstitious beliefs and a fear of doctors prevent many people in India from taking their sick children to the hospital. They would rather get medicine from a local pharmacy, where pharmacists supply tablets and syrups without a doctor’s prescription.

Hemant’s parents had little awareness of health and education. Hemant’s father, Venkobrao, works as a load man in the market, loading and unloading fruits and vegetables. His job is seasonal and when there is work, he earns about 80 Indian rupees (approximately $1.50 U.S.) a day.

man and woman and child posing for photo

No one knew the reason for Hemant’s chronic sickness. All his parents knew was that he frequently fell ill and suffered. This affected his education as well. With poor school attendance, he fared badly on his exams. When health is a priority, education naturally becomes secondary.

When Hemant fell sick with fever, we counseled his parents and immediately rushed him to a nearby hospital. After a complete checkup he was diagnosed as having three holes in his heart. The doctor told his parents,

“If not treated within six months, your son will die.”

The surgery would cost more than $2,100 U.S. — a sum far above the family’s means. Radhabai, Hemant’s mother, shares,

“Even if we worked all through our life, we could never afford this.”

But thanks to the Complementary Interventions Medical Fund, Hemant received immediate surgery and his life was saved.

Today, Hemant is an active boy in the fifth grade. He is coping in his studies and is involved in sports. He loves to play football and cricket and dreams of becoming a policeman.

smiling boy

Radhabai shares,

“My days of pain and agony are over now that my son is no longer ill. How relieved I am. If not for Compassion’s help, I could have never seen my son alive. I am so grateful.”

Now Hemant’s family knows there is someone to support them in times of crisis. They realize that they are loved and cared for. As a family, they now believe in God and regularly participate in Sunday worship services.

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