If you asked Mary about her 8-year-old son, Eric, she would smile and proudly tell you that he’s a social boy, bright and well-behaved. It’s easy to see the love in her eyes when she looks at him.
Eric was born without his lower left leg due to a birth malformation. Mary’s heart was full of love for her first son, but when her husband saw Eric, he was angry with Mary.
“He chased me away saying, ‘I don’t give birth to children with disabilities.’” Mary wiped her eyes as she recounted the story. The pain of that moment ran deep.
He forced Mary to leave their home and told her to take all of the kids with her.
“I envisioned a very hard future for me and my children. I held onto the Lord. That’s how I managed to survive.”
Mary had a deep trust in God, even in the middle of her desperate circumstances. She had unwavering faith that He would take care of her and her children. And her prayers were answered.
A Mother’s Broken Heart
When Eric was only 3 months old, a kind neighbour told Mary about Hope and Healing International’s partner hospital in Uganda. He even helped her pay for their travel to the hospital.
Once there, a generous healinghugs donor just like you paid for Eric’s treatment. Without that gift, Mary would never have been able to afford Eric’s medical care. She worked in gardens for other people, and no matter how hard she worked, the money wasn’t always enough to feed her kids, let alone pay for her son’s medical treatment.
That donor was the answer to Mary’s prayers. Eric was able to get the care he needed, which included a prosthesis.
God’s Answer to a Mother’s Prayer
Now, Eric has a 3-D printed socket and limb. This 3D technology allows our partner hospital in Uganda to create prosthetics more quickly and with a better fit than ever before.
Eric is thrilled with his new limb. “I play football with it,” he told us. “I can even run. It never gets sore, even after running.”
And if you visited his neighbourhood, running is exactly what you’d find Eric doing. He’s often playing football with his friends, climbing trees or jumping. Nothing is off limits to this young man, including the sky – Eric hopes to be a pilot one day.
“I tell these mothers to love their children.”
Mary continues to work hard for each of her kids, earning enough money to send them all to school. And her hard work doesn’t end there.
She also advocates for other kids in the community who have disabilities by taking the time to encourage their parents and offer support.
When asked why that’s so important to her, Mary said, “Children with disability are born with talents. Children, in the nearby future, are always very helpful to the community. I tell these mothers to love their children.”
“Do not give up.”
Because of her own story, Mary knows all about the struggle and uncertainty other mothers face. She also knows that her own hope comes from the Lord.
One of the songs that means a lot to her is, “Do Not Give Up.” Tears ran down her cheeks as she recited the lyrics: “You have so many problems / You feel your heart is broken / You’re about to give up. / Do not give up.”
As she dried her tears she said, “When I read about Job in the Bible, I’m comforted. Job overcame so many problems, and he endured. He held onto God even in the hard times. He endured, and he won.”
And watching her little boy run as he goes to school is one more glimpse of God’s hand in Mary’s life.