Valdimir was born with spina bifida, a disease that occurs in the womb when the spinal column does not close properly. As a result, he was unable to walk as a small child so would crawl to be mobile. This resulted in scraped skin and nasty infections, which were very painful.
Because Valdimir couldn’t walk, his mother did not send him to school fearing that he would be bullied.
Then she heard about the special needs classroom at Holy Cross School. Valdimir was registered and he did great! He showed himself to be a bright child, eager to learn. When the special needs classroom closed due to the difficulty in finding and retaining teachers trained to work with special needs students Valdimir transitioned to a regular classroom. And he continued to be an excellent student!
During their annual trips to Holy Cross volunteers from St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina came to know and care for Valdimir. Doctors on the team provided assistance. Local volunteers to the school, Kath and Cullen Walker were instrumental in sending Valdimir to the USA to get medical attention.
Valdimir made several trips to Shriner’s hospital, often for months at a time, for surgeries that would allow him to walk. When he was in Standard IV he developed an infection in one foot and ultimately had to have it amputated and then a prosthesis fitted. Even with all of his long absences, Valdimir maintained excellent grades both at Holy Cross and later at San Pedro High School, moving forward each year with his class.
St Luke’s continued to catch up with him every year. When Valdimir graduated from Holy Cross the church gave him a scholarship to San Pedro High School.
At his high school graduation in June 2017 Valdimir was presented with the Perseverance Award and received a standing ovation from his classmates. He is currently enrolled in classes to attain an associates degree in business management. Valdimir and his family are very grateful for all the life-changing help they have received because of volunteers affiliated with Holy Cross School.
Deacon Jan Lamb, of the St. Luke’s team, refers to Valdimir as “one of the many miracles that happen at Holy Cross every day!”