Joy in Namutumba as Babirye gets second chance after undergoing open heart surgery

What you need to know:

  • Ms Mary Babirye’s health, who had been diagnosed with a heart valve disease last year, had begun deteriorating  as she could hardly breathe  with ease, could not support herself  to stand or walk and her entire body was swollen

Residents of Bulimba village in Nabweyo Sub-county, Namutumba District were over the weekend thrown into jubilation after a 27-year-old woman who had a heart ailment which had put her on the verge of losing her life returned home from India after a successful open heart surgery.

Similar to a wedding party, where residents are eager to have a glimpse of the groom and bride, the joyful residents and relatives of Mary Babirye danced while others hugged her amid tears of joy from her aging mother, Ms Jane Saile. The survivor too, shed tears of joy.
Ms Mary Babirye’s health, who had been diagnosed with a heart valve disease last year, had begun deteriorating  as she could hardly breathe  with ease, could not support herself  to stand or walk and her entire body was swollen.

The ailment had cast a dark cloud on Ms Babirye’s seemingly bright future, having graduated with a certificate in Catering from Nile Vocational Institute in Jinja in 2022.
Having been assisted to acquire education by a local NGO Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation, because she is from a vulnerable family, with the NGO’s intention that after completing her education and getting employed, she would help her family to get out of poverty, the ailment had cut short Ms Babirye’s plan.

Ms Babirye’s jobless father had abandoned the family of seven children in Bulimba village many years ago and went to stay in Jinja City.
“Since we had helped her to acquire education, we could not abandon her during this trying moment. We looked for a way of saving her life by taking her to Mulago National referral hospital’s hear institute, where were referred to India,” Mr Charles Walakira, In November last year, Ms Babirye’s health  deteriorated   further , with Mr Walakira explaining that they were told she needed urgent open heart surgery within  a month if her life was to be saved.

Mr Walakira says they looked around for funds to pay for her treatment, flight expenses and others and it was at this moment that Mr Tom Jaques, the chairman Aid Spirit and others offered Shs90million to save Ms Babirye’s life.
However, with the required funds already received and her flight paid, Ms Babirye in late November was at Entebbe international airport prohibited from flying to India by aviation officials after she collapsed while boarding the plane.

Disappointed by what had happened, Ms Babirye was returned home but Mr Walakira says, this did not frustrate them.
“We were determined to save her life, so we booked another flight in the same month and this time, she flew out to India for the surgery where she underwent a successful open heart surgery at Narayanah hospital,” Mr Walakira says.
She spent a month in hospital as returned back home at the beginning of this month.

Rev. Ronnie Paul Nsubuga, the founder of Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation says “Fuelled by a belief of immeasurable value of a single life, we defied the odds and with Aids Spirit’s partnership we transformed what seemed like an end into a new beginning for this child,”
Rev. Nsubuga says as the organization celebrated its two decades journey last month, where they have reached out to over 2,000 vulnerable children, aiding more than 600 widows , constructing over 30 water wells and nurturing countless families though the meal program, Ms Babirye’s story became a beacon of hope.
Ms Jane Saile, (Babirye’s mother) said at first she thought her daughter had been bewitched.

“I am happy that my daughter has come back alive. I had lost hope of seeing her alive,” Ms Saile said as she hugged her daughter.
After a brief function of Babirye’s safe home coming, a meal was served to the ‘survivor’ and the residents.
“God is great. I thank everyone who has sponsored my treatment and all those who have prayed for me,” Babirye briefly said, before breaking into tears of joy.

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