Jessa Bitua, 24, is a young mother who is unable to walk on her own because of uneven legs. One leg is shorter than the other.

It was last year when she had what seemed to be a boil on her left foot. The boil grew and caused painful swelling in her leg that even the slightest touch would make her cry.

“Even when my son Vincent touches it, I would stop what I’m doing and just cry in pain,” she recalls.

The wound was not getting any better. When they were able to save up for a checkup, her common law husband Alex took her to the hospital but instead of diagnosing her true condition, sadly, she was just given pain relievers.

Until finally, it popped on its own. The swelling subsided and the pain stopped. But there was still a visible infection, and she still could not stand or walk on her own.

A few months ago, Operation Blessing came to serve the community of Campamanog, Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol through a medical brigade. Jessa was one of the beneficiaries of the said medical mission. She caught the team’s attention because she was carried by her common law husband at his back—showing a live picture of selfless love and sacrifice for a loved one.

The volunteer doctor dressed her wound. She was given medicine and vitamins and was also advised to undergo laboratory tests to help know her true condition. The patient also sought further medical assistance from Operation Blessing because, “On our own, we cannot go to the hospital,” she said, “we do not have money.” Aside from the medical cost, the hospital is also very far. They need to ride a boat and travel by land to get to.

His common law husband Alex is a fisherman earning around Php 150 ($3) each day. He loves his family so much. “He would wake up early in the morning to cook rice and prepare meals for my son and me. Then, he will go fishing. When he comes back home, he will do all the house chores because I can’t move,” Jessa narrates.

His 4-year-old son Vincent also has a birth defect. He has cleft lip and palate. Because of this, he is bullied a lot by both young kids and adults.

When asked about where she draws strength from, she said she turns to God in prayer. “I always pray to God that He will make me live long because my son is too little. I can’t leave him yet. I don’t want him to grow up without a mother’s care.”

“When Operation Blessing came here for the first time (medical brigade), every night, I prayed to God that we would be picked to receive more help from them. I want to get well for my son. And I want my son to live a normal life, not bullied and laughed at because of his condition.”

Thankfully, God answered Jessa’s prayers. Through Operation Blessing’s medical assistance program, Jessa was given a chance to see a doctor for a checkup and undergo the necessary lab tests for free. Her son Vincent is also part of the said program, and will receive continuous medical care through the LCS (Life-Changing Surgery) Program after the medical assistance.

Aside from the checkups and laboratory tests, they also received grocery packages from Operation Blessing. They are also under the care of our local church partner who will continue to guide, encourage, and spiritually nourish them so that their healing is holistic.

“Thank you so much, Operation Blessing, for helping me and my son to go to the doctor. Thank you also for these groceries. You are God’s answers to our prayers.” —Jessa