Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saving Joey's Life

The hardest, but also the most amazing time in Kampala was the journey with Joey and his family. After only being open a few months, the social work team found a beautiful family and Joey was the first baby adopted from Malaika Babies Home.

Excited Lucy as George arrives to pick up
Joey to take him home to his new family

Proud new dad

Desire & George with their new son Joey

Not long after Joey went home we received a phone call from Joey's parents with the news that Joey had a heart condition and would need a life saving operation within the week. I have never witnessed such an amazing group of people spring in action immediately. An appeal video was made, a donation page was set up, a hospital was found and all in the space of a day.

Working overnight Katie and Lucy made an inspiring appeal to all of the Child's i supporters to help save Joey's life:

As soon as the appeal video was posted we were overwhelmed with the immediate response from people all over the world, all with the common goal of saving the life of a little baby called Joey. I was touched by the amount of people that I knew who donated even though I may not have spoken to them for years. It's funny how something so important can transcend everything.

A day later, on my 32nd birthday we were all glued to the Just Giving page where the money was still escalating at a phenomenal speed. And then it happened . . .

Couldn't have asked for a better birthday present. Because of generous people all around the world a special little boy would get a third chance at life, his second chance was arriving at Malaika and being adopted into a loving family. 10,000 pounds in 38 hours, unbelievable!!

Joey travelled to South Africa with his mum and went through the long operation of life saving heart surgery. His recovery was quick as he is a little fighter and must have been wanting to go back to his new dad as well as his new brothers and sisters who were all missing him terribly.

Joey's family were so overwhelmed and touched by the kindness of strangers and upon arriving back in Kampala with a healthy Joey, they wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of their hearts.

What a whirlwind of a week, there were daily tears as everyone took turns but the end goal was always in sight. And now, as we can see Joey grow and thrive we know his future is bright. And all thanks to people who knew Joey was meant to be here for a long time yet.

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