19 Years Later
Jeff Degner is currently the Director of the Illinois/Indiana branch of Healing the Children. However, Jeff began his involvement with Healing the Children acting as an airline escort for the Wisconsin chapter. One of his most poignant experiences involved Ingrid, the tiny, frail baby in the first picture. Ingrid was born without an esophagus. Without the intervention of Healing the Children, she surely would have died.
From Nicaragua to the United States, Jeff carried her most of the way. Once in Wisconsin, Ingrid went through a very long period of time involving surgery, slow recovery and, ultimately, a return to normal health. Recently, she and Jeff were reunited for the first time in 19 years.
"This is why we do what we do," says Jeff. "The last time I saw her she was this tiny, frail, terribly sick little baby. And look at her now! Healthy, happy, and a successful college student with a promising future. Isn't she beautiful! That is why we do it."