Hi friends. A person who has shown compassion for another person’s suffering deserves the highest award, and all the more so if that person is a soldier. These were the words of a professor from the London clinic to the journalists who visited him more recently.
The story that I will tell Value today spread around the world in a matter of days, and the name of our hero, who did not talk about it modestly for many years, got the front page of the tabloids. So what actually happened?
Believe me, the story will not leave you indifferent.
A man named Wayne Ingram from Portland has given his entire life to the military profession. As you know, a military man’s duty is always to help people. That was a call in Wayne’s heart, and he went on a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia back in 2002, when he was a staff Sergeant in the 9th Royal Lancer Regiment. The military and his unit were tasked with controlling the streets of the city and enforcing law and order. But he could hardly imagine how much his life could change.
On one of the most ordinary days, as the man himself recalled, we were moving around the city. There were a lot of people on the street. Children were running up to us, and we were happy to give them some candies and other treats. Suddenly, on the side of the road, I noticed a boy who was standing all alone, and none of his peers wanted to be friends with him. This was not surprising, because when I approached him, I immediately understood the reason.
Because of a congenital disease, the boy’s eyes were four and a half centimeters further apart than normal, and his nose was completely deformed. I remember picking him up in my arms and asking him his name, and he told me, Stefan, he had this huge, sincere childlike smile on his face and so much joy in his eyes that at least someone paid attention to him. He even gave me a big hug. After that, something in our hero’s heart sank. That night, Wayne could not forget the boy’s face.
The very next day, he decided to look for him. He didn’t know what it was. Maybe he had feelings of fatherhood, because by that time he was a father of four children. But one way or another, he felt a connection to this little stranger, and he always had the same feeling. When he tracked down the Savage family and came to their house, he was struck by what he saw in the postwar town, the living conditions were certainly not good.
The Savage family were kind and pleasant people, Wayne later recounted. As it turned out, little Stefan was only four years old. The boy was born with a rare disorder, a facial cleft. The bone in the center of the face irritated the skull and split his eyes in different directions so that the baby hardly could see anything. His parents, ordinary people could not afford expensive manipulations to restore the baby’s face.
The soldier was warmly welcomed and Wayne paid periodic visits to the boy and his parents, helping them in any way he could. But the peacekeepers stay in Bosnia was coming to an end and in November 2002, before they left, he came to say goodbye, saying that he would never forget them and would do everything possible to change the Fan’s life for the better.
Perhaps someone else would have left his promise with only words, but not our hero. In mid 2003, six months after they had last seen each other, the Bosnian parents received a request and an invitation to go to London. Of course, they thought it was some kind of mistake since they had never had any relatives in England.
But when they found out what was going on, they couldn’t hold back the tears. The same military man who had held the baby in his arms, returning home to his native Britain, decided not to sit idly by and organized a fundraiser. In just six months, the British soldier raised 85 £0 and in 2003 brought the boy to the Children’s Hospital in London.
Plastic surgeon David Dunaway offered his help for free, but some of the money was spent to buy tickets, pay for visas and accommodation for the young patient’s family. During a twelve hour surgery in July 2003, doctors had to remove all of Stefan’s teeth.
The boy underwent trepination and skull reconstruction. The doctor removed the bone in the middle of his face to bring his eyes closer together and made him a new nose. All this time, Wayne, along with the boy’s parents, were by his side. The sergeant’s wife supported her husband in every way possible and helped with fundraising. After the first surgery in 2003, the two families became very close and kept in touch.
But that was only the beginning. Stefan still had a lot of expensive surgeries to undergo. In May 2005, Stefan returned to Britain again to have his respiratory system corrected. Since then, every two or three years, the little patient came to England to undergo another course of treatment. Throughout this time, Wayne’s family placed the little boy with his parents in their family home.
For all these years, they had collected an unreal? 150 £0 for the boy’s treatment. Every new visit to Fan was getting better and in 2016, Wayne raised the last £20,000 for his next surgery, a plastic surgery. After the last surgery, for which even celebrities helped to raise money, Stefan’s nose was completely restored. Now Stefan is 21 years old and living a full and happy life.
He plays in the local music band, he’s studying in the University and he even has a girlfriend. The boy is very grateful to his savior for taking him in his arms one day in the bombed out streets of the city and changing his whole life.
With tears in his eyes, he said that if it had not been for Wayne, he probably would not have lived to see this day. The British soldier talks to the boy and his parents every month. The families have become such good friends and they often visit each other.
Stefan himself calls Wayne his second father and Wayne doesn’t hide the fact that he has another son.
This story proves once again the fact that miracles happen. They happen every day right around us. And each of us can be a part of them if only we want to. It so happened that a tough military man saved the life of a boy he didn’t know, thereby getting a son. What do you think of the soldier’s action?