His name was Aiboy. I don’t think I have ever seen a little boy so thin with an abdomen so distended. It was unevenly distended, not like the malnourished children I’d seen on TV. The silent suffering of this sweet four-year-old boy broke my heart. I knew his condition was serious. He had been carried out of the mountains to the Brooke’s Point hospital, but the testing and care he needed was unavailable there. The only CT scanner in the city was broken, and the only doctor that does abdominal ultrasounds was out of town. Little Aiboy needed advanced care in Puerto Princesa right away. Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital city, is about four hours’ drive by shuttle van. Ambulances are not always available for such a transport, and shuttle vans don’t operate from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. This poses a potentially fatal problem for emergencies at night.
It was late the next day when Aiboy and his family finally made it up to Puerto Princesa. This delay in care, coupled with two recent deaths of patients whose lives likely could have been saved with advanced care, has fueled our desire to purchase a vehicle we can use to make lifesaving runs to the hospital. We are envisioning a vehicle large enough to carry a stretcher and the patient’s family comfortably in the back. There are many such vehicles on the island of Palawan, so repairs and parts should be easy to obtain. The vehicle could also be used to transport staff to and from the project and take supplies to the trailhead or helicopter. Lowland Adventist churches and church plants occasionally need transportation for ministry purposes, which we could also supply with this vehicle.
Despite the best care the doctors could give him and a transfusion of blood that Sonya donated for him, little Aiboy passed away after a long struggle in the hospital. We want the Palawano to receive the best medical treatment possible, not just so that they might be saved for this life, but for eternity through our Savior Jesus Christ. Would you consider investing your treasure in heaven?