World Pediatric Project Sponsors Pediatric Surgery
In recent years, World Pediatric Project patients Anelle, Angelo, Sofia, Fidel, Bless, Isis, and Future have brought great joy to our parish. This year, we look forward to being matched with another WPP family. Through this locally-based organization, our church will sponsor a child to travel to Richmond from a developing country for live-saving surgery. St. James’s will support them by providing meals, planning fun activities, and more. This is a wonderful mission opportunity for families with young kids to do together, and for parishioners who would like to build international relationships but are unable to travel far from home.
From a recently hosted guests:
In 2017, St James’s sponsored a brother and sister traveling together for cataract surgery. Three year old Isis and her two year old brother, Future, were here together with their aunt Patricia in September and October for treatment for cataracts. They came to us from St. Vincent, so they were English speaking. They stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.
Children receiving treatment for cataracts typically have four appointments when the first arrive: a pre-operative appointment with their eye surgeon Dr. Donna Brown (one of oWPP’s founding members); a pre-operative pediatric appointment at Pediatric Associates of Richmond on Three Chopt; the outpatient surgery itself at Virginia Eye Institute; then a post-operative follow up day after surgery. After surgery they then returned to VEI for further post-op appointments every 1-2 weeks for at least 6-8 weeks. The total time here in Richmond for cataract patients was around 2 months. There was a lot of downtime while the child’s eyes heal.
The Missions Committee reported the details of the World Pediatric Project’s (WPP) 2016 patient.
Her name was Bless Arthur (age 13), and she is from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She had been in Richmond before, and returned for cardiac surgery at VCU. You may remember that the WPP had actually named a designer handbag after her a few years back!
She arrived on 9/11/16 (her birthday) and she stayed at the Doorways downtown with her mother.
On Friday, September 23, Bless had her surgery and recovered at MCV. Thank you all for your prayers and the support of so many members of the congregation. You have truly welcomed them. Bless and her Aunt Roxanne remained in Richmond for the 2 months and we continued to pray for them.
Volunteering for WPP has been a most rewarding experience. The flexibility of the schedule suits my own variable weekly plans. It also allows for a chance to engage with the family in a variety of activities. There are hospital and doctor visits as well as sightseeing and running errands..
Not only is the schedule flexible, but their needs vary. Sometimes a simple outing to Maymont becomes, with my agreement, a sudden detour to get some blood work done or an extended look for a particular food item or for a medical supply for a family member back home.
While the WPP family is appreciative of spending time with me, they love sharing my time with my children and grandchildren. Playing games and listening to music with other young people helps them recover faster and feel connected to the healthy world. My family also appreciates meeting new people from the Caribbean and learning about their country, different religions, and customs. It means much to them to play a role helping someone get better. The experience teaches all of us how fortunate we are to be healthy and to have medical facilities nearby.