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overcoming dengue Honduras

I Beat Dengue – “They call me ‘Champion!’”

“I’ll never forget that day in June 2019, when I came back home from school and felt in agony. The last thing I remember is that I laid on my bed because my joints were aching, and I had a terrible headache that I could not bear and a fever reaching 40°,” says Rafael, age 12.

Dengue fever, spread by mosquitos, has annual outbreaks before the rainy season in Honduras, between May – November. Despite public awareness raising campaigns by the Government, the outbreak this year has so far led to 16,000 cases of severe dengue and more than 80,000 cases of dengue.

So far 235 people have lost their lives to this preventable disease and hospitals have been stretched to breaking point in their attempts to assist those effected. Compassion staff joined government efforts to raise awareness, educating families and distributing hygiene kits.

As one of those rushed to hospital, Rafael spent the next three weeks fighting for his life. Initially doctors believed his case to be less severe but after being discharged, Rafael’s condition took a turn for the worse and he was quickly returned to hospital with nosebleeds and a swollen liver,. His condition was critical.

Still, Rafael did not give up hope that he would survive. He prayed with his mother, Nancy, not only for his own health but for the rest of the patients.

“I learnt in the Compassion project that God is our healer and I had faith that I was going to get back home with my parents and two little sisters.”

But Rafael’s faith was tested even further when the doctors also discovered that he had a heart murmur.

His mum said, “We did not see it coming and felt devastated … because the dengue fever almost took his life and now, he has to face a heart condition ... When my son was given the news that he had a heart murmur, somehow he did not crumble but showed an incredible internal strength. Rafael again comforted me and said everything was going to be okay.”

As a result of this additional diagnosis, the Compassion project staff prayed without ceasing for Rafael and the other 50 sponsored children who were also suffering from less severe dengue cases.

A remarkable answer to prayer

dengue free honduras

Then, to the doctors’ surprise, Rafael’s health started improving. Rafael recovered enough to be discharged and he was sent home and told to rest.

“Though I’m under constant surveillance with the local doctor and the cardiologist I feel better than ever and have a normal life. When I attend my monthly medical appointments with the doctors, they call me ‘Champion’, as my medical exams have shown I am dengue free!”

Rafael and his mother are both deeply grateful to the Compassion Health Interventions which have been able to cover the costs of the medical exams and care that Rafael received and continues to receive.

Rafael is now back on track and is a living testimony for the doctors and community residents. The love from the Compassion project’s staff and the support of his sponsor whose words of encouragement through letters have lifted him up during hard times, have both been deeply appreciated.

Keep praying for those impacted by the Dengue crisis

  • Take a moment to praise God for Rafael’s story of recovery.
  • Pray for all those impacted by the dengue crisis in Honduras and beyond.


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