We need your help! LEAP Global Missions believes that every child counts, so much so that we have traveled 100,000 miles this year to reach children living in impoverished regions around the world who were in need of complex surgical care, primarily for craniofacial deformities. Often times, these children are shunned by their communities and hidden away by their families without options for needed medical and surgical care. At LEAP, we are thankful to have the opportunity to impact these children’s lives in a meaningful way.
This year, we had the opportunity to help Neisha through our Landmark Program. This is Neisha’s beautiful story:
Neisha was born in Haiti to a very loving family. When she was only an infant, her parents and grandmother first brought her to Hopital Espoir to be evaluated by the LEAP team. Needing to wait until she was older, LEAP continued to evaluate Neisha biannually thereafter while we were in Haiti. This April, we were able to tell Neisha’s family that she would soon be ready to travel to Dallas for complex surgical care in the late summer. The family was overjoyed by this news, happy that their daughter was ready to begin the first of several needed surgeries.
Having never left Haiti before, Neisha and her mother Edelyne said their prayers and boarded an airplane to come to Dallas in August, expecting to stay for several weeks. Little did they know what a special host family they would be fortunate enough to be staying with. Janet and Pat Ortega have loved and cared for Haitian children in the most extraordinary of ways, including partnering with LEAP to build a Pediatric Ward last year at our host hospital.
After arriving in Dallas and celebrating her third birthday, the very next day Neisha had extensive surgery at Medical City Children’s Hospital by Drs. Craig Hobar, Fred Sklar, and Douglas Sinn to correct her hypertelorism, a very rare medical condition, and complete a cleft lip repair and partial nasal reconstruction. Neisha did well post-operatively, requiring a few days of intensive care by the incredible, compassionate nursing staff in the Pediatric ICU. Host mom Janet stayed every single day by the bedside to help care for both Neisha and mom in this totally new, strange environment.
After Neisha’s discharge from the hospital, all traveled to southern Oklahoma to stay and recover on Janet and Pat’s ranch over the following weeks. During this time, Neisha and mom often went to church with the Ortegas. Neisha was always “encouraging” church members to stand up and sing their loudest praises; sitting would simply not do! Another favorite activity, fishing on the ranch, was truly the most fun, along with experiencing all of the never-before-seen animals on the ranch. This was a totally different and wonderful experience, a proverbial sanctuary for which to heal this precious child.
After only five weeks, it was time to send Neisha and Edelyne home. While the LEAP team was in Haiti only a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to see Neisha and her family again for a post-operative check. Neisha was so sweet and a little sassy and has grown taller. She is recovering nicely, and we so loved seeing her doing so well.
Neisha’s remaining surgeries will be done in Haiti when LEAP travels there and as Neisha is ready. This family and extended family are so grateful and thrilled that Neisha has experienced a normal, healthier quality of life. They have had to deal with many cultural stigmas during Neisha’s lifetime, which have significantly improved since she returned home from Dallas.
As you can see, LEAP Global Missions provides needed surgical care to children in need; more importantly, we provide the opportunity for a fuller, healthier life. Through our three programs, LEAP travels to impoverished regions to provide surgical care, brings children with the most complex surgical needs to Dallas for treatment, and also sends surgical teams in the event of an international disaster. Over the past 24 years, we have helped to transform the lives of over 9,000 children living in 21 countries.
Without your generous support, LEAP could not have the same impact on these children, their families, and those living within their community. We hope that you will consider helping to financially support our mission again this year so that other children like Neisha will continue to benefit. As you prayerfully consider your donation, we ask that you also consider making a monthly donation.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21