UPDATED: Open heart surgery needed for Leila’s classmate (4 years old); please pray

I just learned that one of Leila’s classmates, and our next door neighbor, Peniel has been admitted into the hospital for open-heart surgery today. I don’t know all the details; there is a hole in his heart, the two lobes are connected, and they will have to enlarge something else. Apparently a surgeon from the US comes to Nairobi once a year for two weeks to do this kind of surgery. Peniel was accepted into the group yesterday (which appears to be a minor miracle. My friend Samy went to donate his O+ blood yesterday.)

UPDATE: Friday 29 August.Unfortunately, once the doctors had a look at Peniel’s heart yesterday, they discovered that the case requires specialized equipment that is not available in Kenya. They had to close him up without doing anything. The doctors are now working together with the family to find out a way to transfer him to the US for specialized surgery. Please continue to pray sincerely for the Nonginde’s:

  • For Peniel’s recovery from the invasive surgery (he still can only breath with the assistance of an oxygen mask).
  • And for all the resources, financial, strength, logistics etc as his family prepares to his surgery.

UPDATE2 (10 Sept. 2008): Peniel is slowly recovering at home. Christi and Leila visited soon as they got back to campus, and gave him a bit teddy bear that she’d gotten for him in the states.

Some of you have asked how you can help. The cost of the aborted surgery came to 327,668.00 Kenya Shillings (about $4,650 USD) and won’t be covered by insurance because it is considered to be a “pre-existing condition. This is obviously a huge burden for any African graduate student.

Wycliffe Bible Translators have set up a fund for Peniel’s Heart Surgery. You can mail a check to Wycliffe at the following address (see instructions below) or on-line through Wycliffe’s donation site (credit card or electronic check). I personally tested the site.

Wycliffe Bible Translators, PO Box 628200 Orlando, FL 32862-8200  USA

The check should be accompanied by a note clearly designating the gift: 
“MEDICAL NEED NONGNIDE”;  account number: 211559

Note: “For Prosper & Catherine Nongnide, heart surgery for Peniel.”

If you prefer to use PayPal and don’t need a tax write-off, you can click on the “donate” button here, and Christi or I will hand them the cash directly. (It’s our personal account, so we won’t be able to give you any tax receipts, sorry.)

To e-mail Prosper and Catherine encouragement, click on this link: Prosper’s e-mail.

Prosper and Cathrine are from Benin, where Prosper is a Bible translator. They are both top quality people.

In this picture of Leila’s birthday last September, Peniel is right right behind her.

5 thoughts on “UPDATED: Open heart surgery needed for Leila’s classmate (4 years old); please pray

  1. Janice says:

    I will pray for this little guy. Do you have any information on how others can help with the funds?

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks, Janice. I’m looking into how we can help right now. I’ll post here and send you an e-mail as soon as I know.

  3. eunice kamau says:

    Please know that m family and i are praying for Peniel to have a quick recovery and that God will enable him live a normal life like other kids.
    Kindly let me know how to get in touch with this group of doctors a collegue at work has a 19 month of baby boy with the same problem. One valve in the baby’s heart is thin. I feel so bad because this has really affected her performance at work.

    Let me know if you can help.

    Thanks and God Bless you all.


  4. […] 10 Sep 2008 · No Comments A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Leila’s four-year old classmate needing heart surgery. Those of you who followed the story know that when the heart surgeon opened Peniel up, it […]

  5. Ben says:

    Hi Eunice, I’ll send you what I know off line.

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