Hope Story from Rwanda.
And we know that in all things God works
for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
A Reflection about Nikuze Hannah Blessing, a child of Jean Bosco Ntakirutimana and Providence Nzayisenga
Once the Apostle Paul said, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians1:21-22). This Scripture reflects on the life of our Baby named Nikuze Hannah Blessing. For her to live on earth, it’s really Christ. Blessing was one of the premature triplets born on Friday May 13, 2011 at 7 months. During delivery, two of the triplets (boy and girl) died, but Blessing was taken into an incubator for survival.
As the newly married couple, we were highly looking forward to a bright future with an expectation of being parents. Consequently, this expectation was shattered within a day. We were in a dilemma and wondering where God has turned to. It was a pain beyond bearing when we had two funerals for our two babies and thinking the other one is on the way.
Though Praying was a struggle; we were encouraged by the words of Apostle Paul …“In all things God works for the good of those who love him…” (Rom.8:28). As Christians, we kept recounting the ordeals encountered and concluded that God is faithful and His way is not men’s.
In reality, God is faithful and He was pleased to let Blessing live on this planet earth at such time like this for His own purpose. On June 22, 2011 the baby (Blessing) was no longer at the hospital in an incubator. She came home. This is not by chance. It took God’s hand for her to be alive.
After three months at home, as the parents we realized she had eye problems. We went back to the hospital where she was born and the best eye hospital in the country and confirmed that her eyes may not be repaired.
One Hospital, Kabgayi Hospital based in the southern part of Rwanda, put her to sleep for an operation but decided not to perform it because of the risks. Dr Piet then referred us to our neighboring country called Tanzania to see if CCBRT Hospital in Dale Salaam can do something to help Blessing.
It wasn’t easy for us to get air ticket to Tanzania due to financial constraint at that moment. I first shared this with my friend Chad from Texas, USA whom we met in Rwanda by sending him a an e-mail from Dr Piet to Dr. Kazim of Tanzania.
Thank you very much for the work done for Patrick!!!
I would like to ask your advice concerning a 6 months old baby NIKUZE Hannah Blessing. She presented with a leukocoria in both eyes. She was premature and one baby of twins, of who the other baby died the day after birth. She got oxygen during several weeks. Examination under GA revealed total retinal detachments in both eyes with the retina’s having a whitish /grey aspect. The retinas touch the posterior capsule of the lens.
Do you think that you could still do something in this very serious situation?
Thanks for your advice,
Based on the above e-mail my friend in the USA contacted several best eye doctors and below was his feed back to me:
Thursday, January 26, 2012 7:36 PM
I don’t know God’s plan having us spend those hours together on a mountain road between Kigali and Gisenyi. We shared our stories and became friends. We both have little girls for whom this life will present extra challenges.
When you sent your most recent update about Hannah, I decided I would do everything I could to help you. I have consulted with an organization in New York City who said Dr. Piet was the doctor with whom they work — that was a dead end. I have shown your email to four eye doctors here in my city, Dallas. One of those doctors is a leading eye surgeon who deals with detached retina treatments.
These doctors obviously do not have the benefit of examining Hannah, reviewing her records, or studying any ultrasounds or photographs. All they had to go on was the brief email from Dr. Piet.
Based on their review of only that email, they seemed to collectively agree that Hannah has two detached retinas. Retinas are one of many parts of the eye, and they should be attached, not unattached. Due to the description of the condition of the eyes (color/appearance and the length of time Hannah has likely had the condition), they concluded the retinas were likely in such a condition that surgery to correct the problem would have a low percentage chance of success. If retinas remain unattached for too long, they get less healthy and become harder to repair.
Perhaps the Tanzanian doctor will have different insight or better information. Please let me know what progress you make there.
But one thing the doctors I corresponded with cautioned: They believe the prospects of a successful surgery are small. They also cautioned that attempting a surgery like that could place Hannah at risk because she would need to be put to sleep to perform the surgery. They said putting a child that age with her history to sleep could very much place her at risk.
Brother, I am so sorry. Everything I am telling you is from one email with very little information . I am sorry I could not do more.
I am always here to talk. I’ve been there. I know what it is to raise a child who has challenges.
This was another frustration but we trusted God and He finally provided the means to get to CCBRT hospital in Tanzania. We spent a month there for blood transfusions before attempting the eye operation. Afterward, Doctors said that the operation may not be successful and they didn’t think there was any hospital in the world that could restore Blessing’s eye sight.
We left Tanzania for Home again frustrated. But kept trusting upon God for direction in such situation.
Establishment of Hillside Hope /
Blessings School for the Visually Impaired/ BSVI
As a Christian and Theologian with BA, MA in Theology, I felt to do something to help ministers of the gospel who has no biblical knowledge on the bible and also to help vulnerable community, blind in particular. I formed a religious based organization “Hillside Hope in 2013 and it was officially registered in 2015. Under Hillside Hope I started the school “Blessing School for the visually Impaired ( BSVI) Jan 26, 2015.
I got some of the educational material to help the school begin from my friends in Canada, the money to rent the school from Michele Dudley, a board member of Education Equals Hope who then later introduced me to Education Equals Hope which is now helps us meet some of the operational cost of the school.
God turned the situation of Blessing to be a blessing to the other children who live with blindness without hope. They are now at the School learning. The needs are still many, we have few numbers of the children because of financial limitation but thus far we thank God for what He is doing in our lives. Blessing is now in P1 in our newly born school. In P1 most of the students spend time by getting accustomed to placing pegs in a wooden board. This board is the first step that the students take to creating braille letters.
See a video about the School when it first started: BSVI