“My heart is just for Jesus now,” proclaims McDonald. He first arrived at the tender age of two and has been a patient at the hospital for over four years. His smile radiates joy even through the most difficult circumstances. It is as if Jesus has sprinkled McDonald’s heart with an extra dose of happiness.
McDonald could not walk when the doctors first met him at one of our mobile clinics near his home. Born with amniotic band constriction, his left calf was attached to the back of his left thigh, and his mother carried him on her back to move from place to place. However, this did not slow him down. McDonald was an expert crawler and he found a way to be in the action, to play, and to live life to the fullest.
The hospital has never been easy for McDonald. He’s been to the operating room more times than we can count. His grandmother is usually the one who accompanies him to the hospital so that his mom can stay back and care for his siblings. He absolutely adores his grandmother! The two stay with us anywhere between one to four months at a time because they are from so far away. It takes them an entire day, on multiple buses, to arrive at CURE Malawi.
McDonald’s grandmother says they’re not sure when he’ll be completely healed and not need to come back to the hospital. Each time they hope it will be the last surgery, the last frame, the last check-up with the doctor, but he continues to get readmitted to further his care towards complete healing. No matter the hardships, no matter the pain, McDonald comes back with an ear to ear smile each and every time. His grandmother says they are hopeful for every new day to be better than the last.
McDonald is part of our welcoming committee when he’s in the hospital. He and his grandmother quickly befriend everyone. His grandmother treats the other children as her own, and McDonald makes sure he doesn’t miss a new person in the kid’s ward. Watching him play with his newfound friends and witnessing the medical miracles of his leg straightening are moments that constantly leave the staff in awe. McDonald has bravery and perseverance that is rare to find.
McDonald’s grandmother has never once given up hope. She says that ever since they came to CURE, she knew that her son would be able to walk one day. The day McDonald took his first steps in physical therapy with a frame on his leg and a walker to assist him, McDonald’s grandmother’s face glowed with excitement. Her patience and determination have inspired the other guardians in the hospital, as well. She has never missed an appointment and works diligently while at the hospital, ensuring that McDonald completes his physical therapy, wound care, and frame turns. She says, “Now McDonald can do anything in life that he wishes! I am very grateful for what CURE has done for my grandson.”
Not only does Jesus have McDonald’s heart, but McDonald says that throughout his many stays at the hospital, he has grown in his faith singing songs and listening to the daily preachings given by the Spiritual Department and guardians of other patients. He loves reading his Bible with his grandmother and is grateful for all the friends he’s made over the years that he’s been a patient at CURE Malawi. McDonald’s healing journey continues, but whatever the road in front of him looks like, he knows that God is with him, making him brave and giving him hope for a bright future.