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Heavenlight Finds Healing

Field Report by Dina Sleiman

TANZANIA – Heavenlight’s mother welcomed her into the world as a beautiful—and seemingly whole—child. Then, when Heavenlight was 2 months old, her mother found a bump on the baby’s head. Little did she know that it was a condition called Encephalocele, and that it would lead to the need for child brain surgery.

She didn’t think much of it at first, but instead of healing, the bump grew larger over time. It was filling with cerebrospinal fluid and this would eventually require surgery to have it removed.

The Brain Bump, a Symptom of Encephalocele, Did Not Go Away

Her mother worried about her and tried to protect the bump as Heavenlight grew to the age that she wanted to play. And as Heavenlight developed speech, she would touch her head and say, “Mommy, get this off.” Her mother began to understand how truly dangerous it could be, and looked everywhere for help, not really understanding that the brain malformity was a serious condition with far reaching consequences for this child’s brain development.

As it turned out, the bones on Heavenlight’s skull, covering her brain, had never fused properly, and brain fluid, or cerebrospinal fluid, had built up there. This condition is called Encephalocele, and over time, her brain could actually begin growing through the hole, and she would likely develop mental disabilities if the condition wasn’t taken care of. 

Successful Brain Child Surgery

Young Heavenlight Needed Child Brain Surgery

Her mother grew desperate once she realized Heavenlight needed child brain surgery, because she had no way to afford it. She said, “I prayed God would make a way for us,” and she continued to search for a solution.

Child Brain Surgery Was Available At Operation Blessing Supported Arusha Lutheran Medical Center

Then she learned about an Operation Blessing supported hospital called Arusha Lutheran Medical Center. Thanks to your generosity, Heavenlight got the brain surgery she so badly needed free of charge! The malformity caused by the brain condition known as Encephalocele was repaired. “She recovered completely,” her mother happily reported. “I am so relieved and at peace now.” 

Heavenlight also noticed the difference right away. She smiled and said, “It’s gone now.” She’ll be able to safely play and attend school like all the other children. This Encephalocele surgery has made all the difference and was made possible by your love and support. Heavenlight’s future is as bright as her name, all thanks to friends like you. 


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