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Mercy is a little girl who lives in Uganda and lost both her feet and lower legs in an accident as a baby, (we believe in November 2009) A fundraiser was set up and is known as The Rwenzori Medical Fund – officially registered.
Keith Taylor is Treasurer, Hazel Jones is Secretary and Judy Webb is President and they all work together to raise money for medical expenses and operations for this little girl. Read more about her story and if you feel you can help by donating go to:-
It is believed that whilst crawling around mercy knocked over a cooking pot which injured her feet and legs. Mercy’s mother had taken her own life and her father had disappeared, leaving baby Mercy and her siblings with their grandparents living in a mud hut. She is shown with her stumps held lovingly by her grandmother. As Mercy grows, her leg bones will continue to grow through her stumps until she is an adult. So many more hopsital visits in the years to come
Keith was a leader of the local St John’s Ambulance Service and took up the cause. They contacted the CoRSU Hospital in Entebbe, but Mercy’s home was outside the catchment area. So, Mercy moved from near Gulu to live with Kens and his partner Mary in Fort Portal – in the hospital catchment area. Mercy suffering with malaria and a patient in Dr Sarah’s clinic, Fort Portal. In the photo opposite, L to R Mercy, her Grandmother and Keith Taylor.
Keith and Cheryl Taylor’s involvement with Uganda started very many years ago. They are members of a Christian amateur radio group which was asked to contact a Christian boys’ school in Uganda in approx. 2000. Prior to Mercy, Cheryl and Keith were paired up with a pupil named Kens Okot. They sponsored him through school, and then university. Kens got a job with a charity that cared for orphans of Aids victims. When in very remote primitive Northern Uganda they were approached by Mercy’s grandmother who asked if they could obtain a wheelchair for her little granddaughter.
Cheryl and Keith increased their support for the family, then Mary and Kens’ family increased by 2, a daughter Betty and son Keith – little (foster) sister and brother for Mercy.
Mercy with her foster family
Mum Mary is a graduate and taught for several years though sadly lost her job in an ‘education re-arrangement’ in the country several years ago. She currently works a distance from home, for a charity that cares for children who are sponsored from overseas. Very sadly her relationship with Kens ended about 18 months ago, when he left her (pregnant) and moved in with his new (also pregnant) lady. On 4th September 2020, Kelvin was born – we funded the cost of her hospitalisation. During the week he lives in a single room with his mum and goes to work with her, travelling home most weekends to the rest of the family, who are cared for during the week by friends and relatives.
The reverend Sophie Whitmarsh started a house-group in the Crymych Group of Churches in 2018 – this was held on a Thursday evening in Keith and Cheryl’s home and consisted of Sophie (Mynachlog-ddu Church), Cheryl, Keith and Judy (Llanwinio Church) and Hazel (Llanfyrnach Church). It was decided that support should be given to Keith and Cheryl in their funding of this family as expenses were increasing. All Mercy’s surgeries have been funded by them when her stumps had to be opened, the growing leg bones cut back, and the stumps remade for each of the 3 pairs of prosthetic legs she has had so far. Payment was also made when little Keith developed an exceptionally large umbilical hernia which would probably have proved fatal if left.
School fees for all 3 children have also been paid. As a disabled child, Mercy would not have received an education, so we pay for all 3 to attend the Green Circle private school. Judy’s crochet items alone have raised nearly £3,000 in sales and donations over the period. Sadly, Hazel’s Line Dancing evenings to support the cause had of course to stop due to the pandemic, but she hopes to resume again soon.
Mercy.11 in November
Since Christmas 2020 poor Mercy (who also suffers from sickle cell anaemia and malaria) has had to have surgery on both stumps, as the leg bones were beginning to grow through, and infection was setting in. She also needed 2 new legs – now more expensive as she has grown so much that she is into the adult size. With a bank balance of only a few hundred pounds we were desperate – we knew that all this would cost more than £2k. The hospital is charitably funded but because Mercy is sponsored from overseas there is still quite a sum to be paid, plus the cost of travel (250 miles each way over dirt tracks) and hotel accommodation for her Carer – no personal care or food is supplied by the hospital. So, we launched the appeal which helped us out so tremendously (with one exceptional donation of £1k from a wonderful person who wants to remain anonymous). And an amazing donation from y Badell Ffrio, Crymych’s fish and chip shop owned by Clydau Focal Minister Elizabeth Law, who by making a special offer on a small cod and chips, raised an amazing nearly £400 for the fund. Thank you so much Elizabeth and all patrons of y Badell Ffrio.
We have received wonderful support from Hazel Jones’ previous home church, Amblecote Wordsley Methodist Church, who have sold vast quantities of crochet bells, hats and all manner of crochet items – encouraged by Hazel’s sister Val, who has joined our house-group since we have been zooming. The Church’s Tea and Natter group has also set up a direct debit to the Mercy fund for which we are enormously grateful.
St David’s Cursillo have been incredibly supportive and there are some amazingly generous people around giving us support. Thank you everyone
Update June 2021.
We heard that Mercy had failed her end of year exams and would therefore not be able to go up a class. Apparently when she started school several years ago after receiving her first prosthetic legs she was, at the insistence of Kens, put in a class of her own age group. But she was unable to read or write and education was in English and a local dialect which was not her own. Now we are paying for additional coaching to try to bring her ‘up to speed.