"They did not know us, but they changed the life of my child."
Because he was unable to sit up, walk, stand, or see properly, seven-year-old Sumit Oat appeared destined to a life of pain and heartbreak.
He and his parents, who are farmers in rural Nepal, and his three siblings are also struggling under the weight of extreme poverty. They often have very little food to eat, and live in a stone-and-mud home that is sometimes very cold inside.
Faced with these daily challenges, the family had no hope of accessing the medical care Sumit desperately needed.
But one day, a local villager told the family about a program that brings hope to families like theirs by helping them receive medical care in Nepal’s crowded and confusing capital city.
Through Samaritan’s Purse’s “Patient Navigation Program” that covers travel and accommodation costs to make access to medical help possible, Sumit and his father Kalam traveled to Kathmandu so the little boy could undergo several rounds of orthopedic surgery, and receive several months of rehabilitation.
“Slowly, Sumit progressed to stand with support,” reports program partner Bikash Adhikari. “Now he is able to walk with a walker. He is healthy and always trying to move around.”Those are significant improvements for Sumit. The Patient Navigation Program has also had a significant impact on Sumit’s father.
“Kalam was very helpful when he stayed with us,” Bikash recalls. “He used to help in the kitchen. He got an opportunity to hear about our Lord Jesus there. He said that he likes our faith and plans to be baptized very soon. He used to attend every fellowship gathering (in the program building), and we also prayed for him and his family.”
In response, Kalam says: “I am very thankful. They did not know us, but they changed the life of my child.”
Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s Patient Navigation Program helps impoverished children and their families make their way to medical facilities to receive treatment, food, temporary housing, emotional and spiritual support, and more.
This year alone, 130 Nepalese children will receive life-saving surgeries in Kathmandu, and 600 people—including their caregivers like Kalam—will hear the Gospel and see it in action.