Today I have a story to share with you. The fun part is… this one is not about me! This story is about my friend Eric Ayala from Ghana, Africa. Eric is not just any person though. He is a blessing in disguise, the sweetest purest of hearts, and a life that deserved a miracle. ❤️
Let’s just get this out in the open so you don’t have to keep hearing this story on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and my mouth (even though you really should). Eric Ayala is an incredible friend of mine that I met in Ghana on a medical mission, with the organization HART Africa 🙌🙌🙌🙌. Instantly when I met him I knew that we would become life long friends. BFF’s. His story is one for the books 📚, not just for this blog.
When Eric was just 12 years old, he and his mother were both hit by and bus and dragged a fair distance. Due to the severity of his injuries, a mortician was sent out to bury him. 🚨 Upon arrival, it was discovered that he did indeed still have a pulse and he was rushed to a hospital and not to be buried. 🚑 His legs were bent so severely that they could not be straightened, but he still spent recovery time in the hospital for the rest of his injuries.
Life is rough. Literally. Family situations are not always the best. Eric is not allowed in his house and sleeps outside with the animals on planks of wood, which obviously did not help with his growing infections. His father isn’t the lightest of hand and his mother is in a tight spot all of the time. Financially they have to choose between feeding the other children so that they can attend school or paying for Eric’s medications. Most of the time, it was the choice of food for the children. Now I don’t have any kids, but I do have a niece and nephew and I cannot even comprehend how it would feel to have to choose between the two. We are so blessed. Here in America we are overly blessed with more than what we could need and more than what we could ever want. How many times do you find yourself at the store buying clothes or whatever else that you want? These people in Ghana and really countless other places all over the world have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Or if it is coming.
Today Eric is 21 years old. Our mission with HART Africa on arrival, was to take care of the sores that had developed from his wheelchair. Now these aren’t just little sores – where he can’t move these sores have become so big, bad, deep and infected down to the bone. So when when Dr. Kimball Crofts went in to operate he realized he needed assistance from multiple surgeons 💉back here in America, in a real operating room 🏥, with multiple surgeries. This wouldn’t be an easy process. The last 9 months has been spent getting his Visa, getting hospitals approval to do surgeries and resources for free, all of the doctors have donated their time and skills for free to make this happen for Eric. This is huge! For so many people to just openly give back and get Eric over here safely to the states to the bed that he needed to recover in. Success? Almost. 🛫
Now Eric has been in the US for the last 3 months 🛬. Doctors have done 2 surgeries already and been able to remove the infection. 🤒 Super intense and painful procedures that take hours of process. 😷 One took over 7 hours. He has vacuum seals on his bottom that suck out the infection, and after the infection was removed Dr. Crofts was able to go in and just close up the flaps.
Another interesting story about Eric before he came to America. The reason he was even able to meet with Dr. Crofts was because he was leaving a hospital one day and his friends saw him talking to some missionaries. After some time had passed he wanted to be baptized, however due to his sores, it was too painful and he was unable to be because he could not get them wet. Shortly after, he met another missionary couple, Elder and Sister Wood, and he took a spoon and wrapped it in clear plastic wrap and told Eric that this is what they could do to his legs so that they would not get wet. Because of this, he was able to be baptized and become a member of the church.
We are at the point in Eric’s recovery where he is in the healing process and getting better 🛌. They were planning to straighten his legs, unfortunately that is no longer an option as it appears he will lose his balance and then he won’t be able to sit in his wheelchair anymore which will take away his mobility. The loss of mobility for him would be too big of a loss, so this much of a start is huge and where we want to be. All of it is a blessing and I am so grateful and humbled to be able to experience this part of his journey with him. I have spent countless bedside hours with him in recovery and also before surgery, and also less time now so that he isn’t dependant on it when he does return to Ghana.
Eric is a genuine boy, heart and soul, I feel as though he has become my brother. We have played legos together. One day someone brought by a keyboard and I taught him to play 🎹 and he’s also a really good rapper (mic drop) 🎤.
His spirit is so pure and sweet and you cannot help but be around him. He is nothing but a gem 💎.
If anyone would like to visit him please get in contact with me. Most of all I cannot thank enough the people, doctors, nurses, hospitals and staff who donated all of their efforts and time to help Eric. Miracles happen. This was one of them. All that it takes from here on out are the continued prayers, blessings, and hope of healing and love sent his way. There is no more deserving man at this moment in life. Miracles like this don’t happen everyday, but when you do get to experience one, you want to share it with the world. And that is what I am doing. 💖
This one is for Eric Ayala. Please keep him in your hearts and prayers. 🔆💗🙏😇🌍🇬🇭
(Here is a little re-cap on HART Africa and the incredible organization that they are. Click on the link for more info or to get involved. I am planning on going back to Africa this November if anyone is interested in coming along too. You know you want to, so just shoot me an email 😘)
Stay with me for more updates on Eric, you don’t want to miss out on his incredible journey and I would love to share and grow with you 👣
Thank you darlings, xoxo💞