Unlike other kids his age, five-year-old Mike-mike is unable to run around and be active. He is easily fatigued and will faint or go into seizure when out of breath. Mike-mike suffers from a congenital heart defect—there is a hole in his heart and a blocked blood vessel, affecting how blood and oxygen travel throughout his body causing his lips and the tips of his fingers to turn bluish.
“He was normal when he was born—just like any other child. One day when he was nine months old, he became pale and collapsed. When he turned one, we brought him to the doctor and learned about his condition,” Mike-mike’s mother Maryrose recalls.
Doctors told Maryrose that children with the same condition do not live past their sixth birthday. The news was devastating.
Life has been a constant struggle. Because of Mike-mike’s condition, Maryrose could no longer work. Her husband single-handedly supports their family of five as an on-and-off furniture painter.
Last year, ICM launched Transform in Maryrose’s community. She heard about it and eagerly inquired to join. Blessings quickly poured in for Mike-mike. During the participants’ medical screening, the ICM health trainer noticed his condition, he was malnourished and considerably small for his age. Immediately, Mike-mike was enrolled in the 12-week home-based feeding program.
He was provided with a regular supply of specially formulated rice meals packed with protein, carbohydrates, and key nutrients to help restore his health. Maryrose prepared the meals for her son, “I made variations of the meals—sometimes I made rice porridge or egg cakes from it. My son enjoyed it.”
After the 12-week feeding, Mike-mike’s weight improved. Though he still battles his heart condition, his frail body steadily recovered from malnutrition.
Today, Mike-mike spends most of his time at home; on better days, he goes to school with his mother to learn and see other kids. Even at his young age, he knows that God can heal him, and often asks his mother to pray for him.
Maryrose feels exceedingly blessed to have gained a community of support and prayer partners through Transform, “Thank you for all the help. I am blessed to have the ICM staff regularly checking on Mike-mike to see how he is doing—these are the people who truly care!”
Maryrose also received financial assistance for her son’s medicines and treatment. ICM’s medical program helps patients receive the appropriate medical treatment they need. However, Mike-mike’s condition is high-risk, and his family has made the difficult decision for him not to undergo surgery.
Since 2005, ICM has provided thousands of surgeries for various medical conditions across its 13 base locations in the Philippines. From cleft lip surgeries to cataract procedures, club foot operations, to life-saving emergency treatments, and many more. Helping men, women, and children living in ultra-poverty receive healing and hope for a better future.