On 9th January 2015, Open Arms welcomed Ezra. A very poorly 8-month-old baby abandoned on Blantyre's streets, with just the clothes he was wearing and his medical notes.
Unfortunately, the Police and Social Welfare were unable to trace Ezra's family or extended family, but Ezra soon became part of the wider Open Arms family.
When Ezra came to us, it became apparent very quickly just how unwell he was. Fortunately, Ezra received the medical attention he so desperately needed, and it was at just 8 months old that Dr. Kennedy of Blantyre University Hospital diagnosed Ezra with a hole in his heart.
#backezra goes live
We believe that every child has the right to life, and after learning about Ezra's condition, we soon began our quest to look into the best surgical options and in August 2015, we launched our #backezra campaign to get him the help he needed. Ezra has been supported by a child sponsorship regular donation, which helped raise the funds needed for his medical needs.
Working in conjunction with the charity Chain of Hope, we were overwhelmed with your generous contributions and how you had taken Ezra into your hearts. Together we saw Ezra and his carer Juliana fly to Leipzig Heart Centre in Germany for potential life-saving heart surgery.
Unfortunately, due to the complexity of Ezra's heart condition and the high pulmonary pressures placed on his heart, after his physical examination it was agreed that further surgery would be too high risk and would potentially shorten his life expectancy, not increase it. This was devastating for the team but following further tests doctors advised not to pursue surgery and to manage his condition with the right medication and support.
Back with friends
Returning to Blantyre from Germany, Ezra spent three years in our infant home, learning, developing, and growing strong!
Always under the watchful eyes of our dedicated team, Ezra soon moved to Harrogate House and has continued to bounce from strength to strength. His regular sponsorship gave some security over the future and allowed us to plan ahead.
Harrogate House gave Ezra a familiar, comfortable setting. A place to call home. A place where he also started his education at Mini Me Nursery, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
No stopping him now
After a rocky start to life, Ezra really does make the most of all the opportunities he has available to him and is an amazing and strong little boy.
He receives a medical check-up every three months, and from his latest check-up, we're pleased to report that Ezra's daily activity has not been affected in any way by his condition.
But there was still one thing, a big thing, missing…. a family home.
A family of his own
Because of Ezra's medical condition, the care he requires and his vulnerability, it has been a difficult journey to find him foster parents in Malawi.
We are incredibly pleased to shout from the rooftops that Mr. and Mrs. Kachingwe from Lilongwe will become Ezra's new foster parents after going through the lengthy fostering process with the Social Welfare team in Blantyre.
Ezra and Mr. and Mrs. Kachingwe spent some time getting to know each other but immediately bonded, and as you can see from the smiling photos of Ezra with his new foster siblings they got on well from the very beginning.
Ezra joined his new parents in Lilongwe on the 14th September 2020. As you can imagine this was very bitter sweet for our team and he will be missed very much, especially by his carers at Open Arms.
But this is not the end of our contact with Ezra. The team will continue to stay in touch and we look forward to watching him develop.
A future to look forward to
We couldn't be prouder of Ezra and all that he has achieved, and we hope you are too as it has taken a huge amount of support to transform his life. While his health and heart condition is unpredictable, it is manageable, and Ezra's development and zest for life is what continues to push him to grab every opportunity with open arms.
Thanks to the support of his sponsors and the care he received at Open Arms, Ezra is now a bright, engaged little boy with a future ahead of him with a family who loves him as their own.
“ “It has been a delight to be part of Ezra’s journey. My family and I couldn’t be more happy to hear the wonderful news that Ezra will be moving forward with a loving new family. This happy outcome is a testament to the amazing work of Open Arms and a heartwarming example of human kindness. We wish Ezra all the best and send love and gratitude to his new parents and siblings” ” - Izzy and Sheila (Ezra's sponsors)