Maria was the first child born to her parents in a small village in Uganda. Shortly after her birth, her parents discovered that Maria was not a healthy baby. Oftentimes in Ugandan culture it is believed that if a family does not have healthy children, there is something wrong with the mother. Maria’s parents were forced to work though this belief while also deeply loving their new baby, and fighting hard to find medical care for her. The hardship and stress of this belief led Maria’s parents to struggle and even separate for a period of time. Maria’s mother would watch other healthy children in her village running and playing, and wish that her own daughter could do the same. Maria’s father was a full time university student while also working full time, and her mother was not employed. There simply was not a way to pay for Maria’s heart surgery.
When Maria was a few months old, her family got connected to Morning Star Foundation through another local charity and it seemed too good to be true. Could they find healing for their daughter? Could there be hope for their family to stay together? Was this all some sort of a horrible joke or scam? Finally, when Maria was one year old, she, her mom, and Morning Star Foundation’s cardiac nurse flew to India for Maria to receive the surgery that would repair her heart and help heal her family.
After a long recovery, Maria is now back home. Her family is together and she is able to run and play with the other children in her village as her mother only ever dreamed she could. Maria’s mother reaches out to Morning Start often to express her gratitude for her daughter’s surgery and the newfound hope that she has for her family.