The Kids - Mayana
We were introduced to Mayana and her family by their pastor in Manaus. She was born with multiple heart problems, and had undergone surgery for her heart in South Brazil as an infant. This first surgery had saved her life at the time, but more needed to be done. At three years of age, Mayana could not run and play, or even sing for longer than a few minutes. She would tire and turn blue in the areas of her lips, fingers, and toes.
An echocardiogram was done in Manaus at the request of the doctors in New York, and in December of 1999, "The Gift of Life" program of Long Island, New York, accepted Mayana, and Dr. Frederick Beirman of the Schnieder Children’s Hospital agreed to take Mayana as a patient. She and her mother arrived and more tests were begun. They were able to stay at the same Ronald McDonald House where Moses had stayed, Before she could have surgery, Mayana also had a great deal of dental work to get rid of infected teeth. Then, 8 days before Christmas, the doctors announced that, in their opinion, surgery was too risky for little Mayana. Even though she would probably live only another 10 or 12 years without it, their concern was that she would die during the operation. Suddenly, all of the plans had changed.
John Mark, who was traveling with Mayana and Rosileni as interpreter and friend, decided to rent a car and drive to his home in Texas for Christmas. It was still a great team effort, but with more disappointing results this time. "The Miles for Kids in Need" program of American Airlines was flexible, and allowed Mayana and Rosilene to leave from Dallas instead of New York to return to Brazil in time for the new year. The First Hand Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri, was, again, involved in covering international airfare and incidental expenses.
Approximately one month later, Mayana’s little brother was born. Marcos Antonio was a healthy little boy. Mayana’s parents knew that they would have to pray about pursuing surgery for her. The doctors in New York had even encouraged them to get another opinion, and there were doctors in South Brazil that had operated on Mayana before. God had been in control of this project since the beginning, and now, more than ever, we need His guidance.
The following is an e-mail that was sent on Sunday, September 10, 2000 to our friends that have e-mail. We want to share it with you too.
Last night a little girl in a hospital in the giant city of Sao Paulo, Brazil was really struggling. Her kidneys had not been working for almost 6 weeks. Her lungs and heart were so tired. She had been sedated most of the time since her heart surgery on July 24th.
It was the second time she'd had heart surgery in her 4 years of life. Mayana was born with multiple heart problems; a hole in the heart, valve trouble, on and on. But the Lord gave her two parents that feared Him, Rosileni and Antonio, who did everything they could do for her. The first surgery was when Mayana was 1 year and 8 months old. The doctor did a banding procedure to control the flow of blood in her heart. This helped significantly, since her lips and finger tips were starting to turn blue with the least amount of activity. Mayana still needed a lot of medical help. In the fall of 1999 Mayana and her mother, Rosileni, went to New York to Schneiders Children's Hospital with "The Moses Project." She was given all the best tests available. They extracted all her decayed teeth and did root canals and capped the others. The doctors in New York, after much evaluation, chose not to do the surgery. They felt it too risky. The doctors were certain that without surgery she would die by the time she was 15. With surgery she might have a near normal life, if everything went well, but the surgery was very risky.
We found this out about 8 days before Christmas. What to do? I rented a car and we drove from New York to Whitehouse, Texas. We were able to stay with friends, Fern Mays and family in North Carolina and John Miller and his parents in Tennessee. Some of the things I remember about that trip are that Rosileni was 8 months pregnant and had a problem with motion sickness. Mayana and her mom sat in the back seat and every now and then Mayana would stand on the hump in the back floorboard and just stare at me in the rearview mirror. When I would look at her, the biggest toothless grin would be there. Sometimes she would lean her head on my shoulder and every once and a while I could talk Mayana into giving me a little kiss on the cheek.
Mayana loves Jesus. At that time she was 3 and she liked to sing praises until she ran out of breath (which didn't take long because of her heart problems) and then she would sit back and rest. We had a great 3 day trip. Mayana and Rosileni spent Christmas with my family and we had a joyous time. The next Wednesday, they returned to Brazil in time to be home with Antonio for the new year.
Mayana's mom and dad decided to pursue the second surgery in Brazil. You know the outcome of that surgery from the first few lines of this e-mail. I must tell you that God is Awesome. Today, this Sunday, September the 10th, is the first Sunday that Mayana can sing to her Jesus and not lose her breath. She can look into His eyes as a whole person. Last night her little body gave up.
We will miss her. Please pray for her parents, Rosileni and Antonio, and her little brother Marcos. I thank the Lord for letting my path cross Mayana's. God bless each one of you. And thank you to each one who had a part with Mayana.