Enzo Becina is just like any regular four-year-old — active, full of questions, and ready to explore the world around him. In some ways, though, this little boy is very different from his peers. His mom, Me-ann To-Becina, shares his story with us.
Two surprises “Enzo was born on October 21, 2010 prematurely. Despite the surprise delivery, we were excited to finally meet our little one even if things seemed uncertain and quite abrupt,” Me-ann says.
Little did Me-ann and her husband Ariel know that they were in for another surprise — one that would have them praying fervently for a miracle.
“At birth, Enzo was diagnosed to have a congenital heart disease called VSD (ventricular septal defect) or a hole in the heart,” Me-ann shares. “I couldn’t explain what I felt then because his VSD may have been attributed to his being born prematurely but I also felt guilty because I could have passed it on to him, since I, too, was diagnosed with VSD at birth.”
“Initially, that was just a thought, but it was later confirmed by the doctors (they never told me that during my pregnancy though),” she continues. “My VSD didn’t close, and since we couldn’t afford it then, I wasn’t operated on until I was 13 years old. I badly needed to undergo open-heart surgery after being afflicted with several illnesses that made me even more vulnerable.”
“With Enzo, we decided to simply follow everything the doctor said. VSD is a heart defect that has a chance to be corrected within the first 2 years of age so really, the only remedy is prayers and -- God willing -- our son could be one of those fortunate enough to be healed.”
A “miraculous” healing “We prayed fervently to Padre Pio, after whom Enzo was named, and at 8 months, he was miraculously healed!” Me-ann exclaims with joy. “Unlike me, who needed an open heart surgery, Enzo’s healing is a testament of God’s love and mercy!”
“There is no remedy to VSD at that age except for prayers and surgery, so without the latter, Enzo’s healing really was due to God’s healing grace and mercy — there is no other explanation for it,” Me-ann continues. “Doctors we have worked with say that Enzo is really lucky.”
Healed to heal others During the ultrasound that showed that the hole in Enzo’s heart had closed, the Becinas immediately told Dr. Juliet Balderas, Enzo’s pediatric cardiologist, that they wanted to help kids with the same ailment.
“She wasn’t just happy for our son, she was also touched by what we told her because, right then and there, she told us that there were a lot of kids who were ‘healed’ in the same way, but it was her first time to meet people who wished to give back by helping,” Me-ann recalls. “We have worked together since then.”
The Becinas went on to establish the M.A.D. (Make a Difference) for Enzo’s Cause, tying up with the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) to help less fortunate kids have a better chance at life with healthier hearts.
“To date, we have helped over 20 kids from all over the country and we are aiming to help 50 kids by the time Enzo turns 7,” Me-ann shares. “We are able to do this through various initiatives, and donations as well from family members and friends who wish to sponsor a child.”
In addition, to help fund more operations of pediatric heart patients, the couple has opened “Pio Lechon,” a food business selling lechon made from “native pigs that have only been fed fruits and vegetables, and allowed to roam freely on a farm.”
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Enzo (in doctor's gown), mom Me-ann, and a beneficiary. Photo from the M.A.D. for Enzo's Cause Facebook page
“Enzo is currently 4 years old, and visiting his ‘patient beneficiaries’ at the PHC — in his official PHC-given pedia-cardio junior scrub suit and doctor coat — is part of his routine,” Me-ann says. “As parents, we are proud to raise our son with a heart for others.”
“With a cause named after him and with God’s grace, we wish to continue to guide him through this path where having a ‘heart’ for others is an integral part of our being,” she adds.
Trust in God’s plan To end, Me-ann encourages those who might be praying for miracles in their own lives: “No matter how insurmountable the situation is, trust in God — He has great plans for us. I have learned this from my own experience and through Enzo’s, too.”
“We try to live and preach this every day. Whenever we visit our patient beneficiaries, we also tell them to be strong and to keep the faith! This cause has also helped us practice paying it forward.
“Sometimes, we do not know and understand why difficult things come our way. God has a plan and we simply have to play our part. He will not forsake us. He is a loving and merciful God.”
So if you’re facing trials and difficulties today, remember that God is faithful. You might be having a “Black Saturday” now, but believe that your “Easter Sunday” is coming soon.