A young Bolivian boy goes through an intense heart procedure to repair a defect
Carola Contreras is the Children’s Heart Project coordinator in Bolivia. She recently transported 9-year-old Wilfredo from Bolivia to the U.S. for surgery to repair the defect in his heart.
“I’ve done all the repairs I had planned,” the surgeon said after working for four straight hours on Willi’s heart. “We’ll wait 48 hours to see how his body reacts to all the changes. The only thing I can say is that he is in the hands of the Almighty.”
The surgeon spoke powerful truth, and it was marvelous to be able to rest in this truth. This little boy who suffered a congenital heart defect for nine years rests in great hands.
Alicia, Willi’s mother, had walked a difficult path for a long time. Visiting doctors and looking for answers, she soon found that there was nothing that could be done in her native country of Bolivia.
Willi and Alicia have walked this difficult journey together. As they waited to be accepted for surgery by Children’s Heart Project and prepared for the trip, they walked in faith that they were in the hands of the Almighty. Taking one day at a time, they experienced firsthand the grace, mercy, care, and eternal love of our Lord.
We arrived in Minnesota on October 18 last year, and stayed for about three months. On the second day in the U.S., Willi began to get worse. His blood pressure dropped dramatically. Our only option was to call 911, and we soon went to the emergency room.
After only one day at home from the emergency trip, we returned the day of the surgery without knowing what might happen. Willi spent a week with tubes connected to his body and 17 days in critical care. Each day was different, often the opposite of what was predicted, and challenging. Against all odds, Willi continued his recovery until he was finally discharged.
In December, we had to send Willi to the hospital again to drain the fluid that had accumulated around his heart. Once he was back in the host family’s home, his recuperation continued.
Today, Willi is full of energy. He can walk and run even though his heart is weak and he relies on various medications.
Honestly, we’ve had many difficult moments throughout this journey, but the hands of the Almighty never left us. We witnessed His care and love with each hug, smile, word of encouragement, and act of service.
Families acted with sacrificial service as they brought food and visited the hospital and house. We also had the privilege to stay in a warm house in the middle of winter. The language of love was spoken throughout our stay, and we have seen Christ in this long journey.
Willi is a miracle. He lives for God and His glory. There has not been a day where Willi has not thanked God for his new heart. The prayers of many people around the world are a fundamental part of this miracle.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NKJV).
Update on Willi: He is doing well. He’s grown nearly an inch and has a good appetite. The doctor in Bolivia said he continues to improve. Willi is enjoying his new city and school, and his family is looking for a permanent house to move into. Please continue to pray for his health.