Meet Gabriel


Gabriel and his family

Twelve year-old boys should be playing soccer, throwing rocks in the lake or riding bicycles recklessly down the street. They should be physically active and full of life. They should not be confined to their home, unable to walk and always short of breath.

I would like to introduce you to Gabriel. He is a 12 year-old with a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. His disease severely limits the amount of blood that travels to his lungs and he is perpetually blue with minimal energy. If he must use the bathroom, his mother carries him the few feet on her back.

His disease is curable. In the United States, we perform cardiac surgery in the first year of life and most patients do very well. Unfortunately, specialized surgeons are not available in the DRC.

Gabriel’s parents have been advocating for him and they have dedicated their lives to his care. It sends shivers down my spine to hear of his father praying for him at church, saving all of his earnings for medical care and continuing the fight for funding to help his son have a normal life.

Just last week, the family received a great surprise. A donor agreed to finance Gabriel’s surgery and he will soon travel to India. Some selfless individual will save Gabriel’s life and has brought indescribable joy to his mother and father.

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