I will never forget that day. We pulled up in front of his home – a tiny wooden shack – and saw him in his wheelchair. As we walked up to him sitting there, he smiled the biggest smile and lit up that dark place. If we didn’t know any better, we would have thought Johnny had everything a person could want. He barely had anything at all. We instantly fell in love with him and knew at that moment why we were there.
We moved Johnny into Vladimir Bryant Foundation’s Little Hearts Home on January 12, 2013. He was so happy and took great pleasure in the things we all take for granted. For three weeks he lived like a King. He was bathed, fed three meals a day and slept in his very own comfortable bed. He was enthralled with the TV – he had never seen anything like it. While there, Johnny was able to wheel around on the tile floors and loved it! He was unable to do this on the dirt floor of his home without the help of others. But most amazingly, after his first week with us, Johnny started speaking! The improvement in his health in that short time was such a blessing to see! He was thriving and we believed there was no limit to what he could accomplish.
We soon found out God had other plans for Johnny. During his third week in Little Hearts Home, he became sick with stomach pains and high fever and was taken to the hospital. While there, Johnny’s mother told us he had contracted Malaria at age 5 and Yellow Fever at age 10. He never received medical treatment for those illnesses; the family just didn’t have the means to pay for a doctor or hospital visit. In the years to follow, he would often become very sick due to the lack of medical treatment. On Saturday, February 9, 2013, Johnny went home to be with his Heavenly Father. Although we miss his huge smile and loving spirit, we receive comfort in knowing he is now healed and running around with other children in his home in Heaven.
God placed Johnny in our lives to show us our purpose – the vision for Little Hearts Home. He was our first child to move into the home and receive our love and care. Johnny will always be in our hearts and in the short time we knew him, touched all of our lives in a profound way. We will never forget him.
We love you Johnny and will see you again one day!