With a mischievous grin and sparkling eyes, Tracey, a non-sponsored child living near our Tondo sponsor site in the Philippines, seems like any other active seven-year-old child. His antics keeps his parents on their toes as they smile with relief and whisper prayers of thanksgiving.

This typical rowdy behaviour brings his parents much joy because unlike most children, Tracey has faced many medical challenges in his young life. He was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects. His parents knew that he would need surgery at some point and worried about how they would ever afford it. His father has only been able to find infrequent contract work, so the family of four survives on their grandfather’s meagre salary as a local police officer.

In November 2018, Tracey took a bad turn and needed immediate heart surgery costing $3,541 CAD. Thankfully, his parents had been in contact with our Tondo sponsor site, and the expensive surgery was covered by Chalice donors through critical needs funding.

The surgery was a success, but in December when Tracey was supposed to be discharged, he had difficulty breathing. A tracheotomy was performed, and he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Tracey’s mother was so grateful when once again Chalice donors answered her prayers and a second critical need of $922.96 CAD was funded to cover the additional medical costs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracey’s follow-up checks at the hospital were postponed, so it wasn’t until January 2021 that he was seen by the doctor in person. The hospital has tried to remove his tracheotomy, but Tracey can’t tolerate tracheal capping right now. He was sent home still with the trach but advised to practice breathing through his nose and mouth with hopes he can have it removed soon.

“Tracey’s health had placed the family in a very difficult situation,” explains Eunice, the site director. “If not for Chalice, the child would not have received the medical intervention he so needed. Tracey’s smile is priceless. Thank you so much Chalice, for believing that every life is worth saving. Thank you for being God’s hands at work here on earth. Our sincerest gratitude.”

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