They say that “when it rains, it pours.” It is seen not only with blessings, but also with trials that seem to arrive all at the same time. This is what Rachel Guab seemed to experience when her baby was diagnosed first with Classic Rubella Syndrome, then discovered one-by-one he also had eye, ear and heart problems.
The 24-year-old mother noticed white spots on both of Jevon’s eyes while feeding him a few days after going home after birth. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, they were not able to immediately go back to the hospital for a check-up. When Jevon was 3 months old, the doctors confirmed Rachel’s fears – her son was diagnosed with congenital cataract in both eyes affecting his vision.
“He does not respond when we wave our hand in front of his eyes, but we noticed he always looks at bright lights. I was worried when I found out about his condition. We did not know if there is a cure or if his eyes could still have a chance to see… I felt fear for my son, how could he live a normal life without seeing?” says Rachel.
Rachel saw a glimpse of hope for Jevon when they were told surgery could help his eyes see. But the surgery will cost them more or less Php200, 000.
Philip, Jevon’s father, was then working in a department store earning around Php 9,000 a month, enough for the family’s basic needs and saves for Jevon’s check-up. But their situation became more challenging when Philip lost his job at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. He was laid off from the department store he used to work at.
Philip started working as a laborer earning only Php100 per day and only if there are construction projects in their area. It became more difficult for the family to save for Jevon’s surgery since Philip’s earnings are barely enough to support their basic needs. They are grateful that their relatives have been very supportive in augmenting their daily needs and expenses to continue Jevon’s check-ups. They also sought help from different politicians, but the amount they collected still were not enough for Jevon’s surgery.
During a series of tests done to prepare Jevon for the eye surgery, they found out that he is also deaf and he has congenital heart disease, tearing her mother’s heart even more. Though they did not know where to get the resources for all of Jevon’s medical needs, they clung to prayers for God to send them people who could help them. She first prayed for Jevon to be able see.
“I prayed for Jevon to have a chance to see us, to see the world,” shares Rachel.
Answers to her prayers came when Jevon’s ophthalmologist, Dr. Rachel Milante, connected them to Operation Blessing to become a Life-Changing-Surgery project beneficiary.
Later, in March, after being cleared by his pediatric cardiologist for surgery, 2-year-old Jevon had successfully undergone cataract surgery on both eyes.
After the operation, Jevon started crawling and with support from his parents, holding onto their house walls, and started learning how to walk. Both Rachel and Philip are amazed and overjoyed that their son now responds to their touch – Jevon now reaches and holds his parents’ hands in response to when they put their hand in front of him.
Rachel said they are less worried now that their son can see. She also shared that Jevon is now scheduled for free therapy in their municipality to teach Jevon how to walk since his eye problem had delayed his motor development.
Soon, he will be tested for hearing aid, too.
“Thank you to everyone who helped us! If not because of them, my son will not be able to see. I pray that God would give them long lives to be able to help more children like my son, and to give light to other people’s lives, too.”
Rachel’s hope is enlivened that God is continually sending people their way to help baby Jevon.
Be involved! Help us bless baby Jevon and other children like him with medical needs. Visit our website, www.operationblessing.ph on ways you can be a blessing to others now!