Lydia and Kelvin from Ghana

Kelvin with his hopeful grin
Kelvin with his hopeful grin

Two years ago, Lydia had four healthy children. They lived with Lydia’s parents in a village in Ghana. Lydia’s husband had left the family and life was a struggle, but she worked hard as a cook to provide for her children.

One summer, during a visit to his father, Lydia’s ten-year-old son Kelvin fell desperately ill. Once an active and bright-eyed little boy, he could now hardly eat or sleep. He had lost a great deal of weight. His eyes were sunken and his face pale. He was in constant pain and plagued by rashes all over his body.

Lydia hardly recognized her once-healthy child.

Terrified of losing her son, Lydia flew into action. She scraped together what little money she could and hurried him to a government hospital. Kelvin was diagnosed him with malaria, treated, and discharged. But the boy’s health continued to deteriorate.

Refusing to give up, Lydia brought Kelvin to another hospital where they ran a series of tests, including x-rays. She was referred to a Cardiothoracic Clinic at yet another hospital. There, doctors broke the devastating news that Kelvin was suffering from a life-threatening, severely defective heart valve.

“I took turns taking quick glances at the doctors,” Lydia says, “and then back to my son, stupefied.”

Kelvin needed immediate surgery, but the surgery was very costly.

“I couldn’t imagine where and how I would ever come by that amount of money,” Lydia says.

Lydia did the only thing she could; she put Kelvin on her back and took him home. She got down on her knees and prayed. And she told her friends and family about Kelvin’s illness.


Four weeks went by and Kelvin’s condition continued to worsen. Then a friend suggested that Lydia contact International Needs.

Lydia shared her son’s story with International Needs’ administrative manager. Then she went home and intensified her prayers.

A few days later, out of desperation, Lydia set out for the International Needs office once again. While she was en route, IN’s administrator called and shared the incredible news: International Needs partners around the world had donated enough money to cover the cost of Kelvin’s open heart surgery, anesthesia, intensive care hospital stay, and follow-up care.

“The news hit me like some mystery, very difficult to believe,” Lydia says. “I felt an unimaginable relief creeping through my body. ‘Thank God!’ I said. I left the office praising God all the way home.”

After two weeks of tests and preparation, Kelvin was ready for surgery. Lydia prayed over him all night long. The next morning, Kelvin was wheeled into surgery. Lydia walked the length and breadth of the hospital, praying and speaking encouragement to her own heart.

When the doctors returned Kelvin to the ward after surgery and recovery, Lydia saw Kelvin’s eyes open and rejoiced.

“Then I knew my son had survived the battle,” Lydia says. “God fought for us.”

Today Kelvin is a happy and active young man once again. He is back in school, and every day his laughter is music to Lydia’s ears.

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