At Guiding Light Orphans (GLO), we strive to improve health and well-being for as many people as possible. But we never forget that we exist because one single life touched another single life in a profound way.
Therefore, to honor the importance and potential for life-changing good in every individual, we are committed to providing what assistance we can when we encounter someone in unique and special need.
We met our first case at one of our medical camps. Christine Paska is a young girl, who was five years old when we met her, from Nyantonzi village. She could not walk or talk, and she spent much of her day crying out in pain. We learned that she was born with spina bifida.
Complications during surgery for the condition when she was just an infant left her incontinent and unable to walk. She developed devastating wounds on her backside as she could only move by pulling herself across the ground.
First her mother, then her father, abandoned Christine because they were unable to cope with the difficulties of meeting her daily needs. She was taken in by her 54-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth, who provided her with what care she could. But Christine was socially and emotionally isolated, and physically deteriorating.
As a first step, we enlisted the help of the District Hospital to do a comprehensive assessment of Christine. They created a program of treatment for her that included:
Multiple surgeries and treatments
Physical rehabilitation and speech therapy
Medical equipment including a wheel chair and other supplies
Post-surgery follow up visits
GLO raised $2,000 specifically to fund Christine’s extensive treatment. Then we had to address how to fund the long term care Christine would need. Christine’s grandmother, Elizabeth, proposed a unique solution. She asked us to help her buy a few chickens. Elizabeth explained that she wanted to help pay for Christine's medical care herself, and that by selling eggs, she could earn the money to do that. We were excited that Elizabeth took the initiative to start a chicken project that would help support her granddaughter.
Christine was taken to CORSU, a hospital in the capital city, Kampala, that specializes in rehabilitation for conditions like Christine’s. After four months of intensive rehabilitation at the hospital, they determined that she needed to come back every couple months to be checked up on and to be given some further rehabilitation to help her with her movement and her speech.
Since her first visit and all the others since, Christine has learned to communicate using sign language, received some education, and the wounds on her backside have healed completely thanks to the doctors at the hospital and her grandmothers constant care at home.
Within months, Christine’s condition improved dramatically. She is bright, happy child, who can hear, is learning to communicate through sign language, gaining independence with a wheel chair of her own, and even starting to use a walker. She still has a long way to go physically. But she has already transformed from a child who wept constantly due to chronic pain, into a girl who always has a smile on her face.
She brings hope and tremendous joy to all the lives she touches – in her village, at the hospital, and especially to all of us at GLO.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Every few months, GLO arranges for a car to go pick up Christine and her grandmother to take them on their 6 hour journey to CORSU Hospital, where she stays a few weeks getting medical care and some developmental care. Her initial care was quite costly, but now that she has recovered so well, it costs approximately $2000 per year for Christine’s occasional trips back to CORSU Hospital.
By donating $38, you will provide Christine with care at CORSU Hospital for 1 week
By donating $166, you will provide Christine with care at CORSU Hospital for 1 month
By donating $1000, you will provide Christine with care at CORSU Hospital for 6 months