Isaac Oenen is a sweet and adventurous nine-year-old boy with dancing eyes and a smile a mile wide. He lives in a remote rural village in northeastern Uganda, not far from the area terrorized by LRA rebels. The day I arrived in his village to visit the thirty children that we care for, he was climbing a very tall tree to pick passion fruit for his sister. He fell from a great height, and fractured his skull beginning with the bone that is above his left eye and continuing back through the top of his skull. Two American doctors who reviewed the results of his CT scan say that it is a miracle that he survived long enough to get treatment at all, as his brain began to bleed and swell.
His mom had to bring him by bus several hours to Kampala, as there is no other transportation from the village. The family could not even afford the bus fare, as the cost for mother and son together equaled this family's monthly wage. The first thing V2V provided was leadership, as the parents could not see the seriousness of his injury. He was treated at the village dispensary with Tylenol and penicillin and released to rest while his brain continued to bleed. That would have been the extent of his care had V2V not stepped in—Thankfully we insisted that he come to Kampala for a CT scan.
What he received afterwards is the very best of' care available in Uganda at the only hospital that had the equipment to do the necessary surgery. The Russian neurosurgeon that performed Isaac's cranioplasty was very confident that Isaac will make a full recovery. One day post surgery, he was up in bed singing us a song and eating chicken and fries!
Isaac's parents, Merab and Richard, are leaders in their Serere Church of Uganda (Anglican). Merab told me the day of the surgery, "God has shown me tonight that if it wasn't for you…Isaac would have died." God has plans for this terrific little boy!