By Dillon Thomas
BRIGHTON, Colo. – A 9-year-old Haitian boy has a new lease on life, thanks to what some in Brighton have described as a “miracle.”
John Olivier, a native of Haiti, lived the past several years with a growing tumor on his jaw. Better known as “Little John,” the tumor was growing so significantly, it was effecting his speech and the way his teeth were aligned.
A group of missionaries from Calvary Chapel Brighton met Little John on two separate trips to the country. Most recently, in their late-2017 visit to Haiti, one missionary made it his mission to get Little John the treatment he needed. Barclay Stuart, a missionary with Calvary Chapel Brighton, said he was drawn to Little John and his story.
“He had a large tumor on the side of his mouth, and it just broke my heart,” Stuart said. “I just imagined myself being in the father’s shoes, not being able to get my son help.”
Stuart was told Little John only had about a year to live, before the tumor would suffocate him.
Stuart took a photo with Little John, and promised to do whatever he could to help him. He started to pray for the boy, and never knew an answer to his prayer was ahead.
“I like to say that God provided all of our needs,” Stuart said.
Stuart was at the airport in Haiti, awaiting his flight home, when he set his bag down to reserve a table. He watched from a nearby restaurant line, as a group of strangers moved his bag to take the table.
“Another group of people came up, and saw my bag, and moved my bags. I wasn’t real happy about that,” Stuart said.
Stuart confronted the group, and sparked a conversation with one of them. Little did he know, the man he was speaking with was the answer to his prayers for Little John.
Stuart learned the man was a medical missionary, and more specifically, a facial surgeon from Connecticut. With his group, was an anesthesiologist, and even a board member of a hospital.
Stuart showed the photo of Little John to the group, and all agreed to perform the surgery, free of charge.
“I said, ‘We have a boy that needs a miracle.’ And, the guy says, ‘We do miracles.’”
For the next several months, Stuart fundraised and prayed with his church in Brighton. They received more than $10,000 in donations from their church, and beyond. A Denver-area company donated expensive surgical devices for the procedure anonymously. And, staff at
Avon Oral, Facial and Dental Implant Surgery came through on their promise to perform the surgery.
Little John’s father, Jean Luckner Olivier, flew to the United States with his son for the surgery. Stuart said they stayed with a gracious family in Connecticut, who were of the Muslim faith. The family welcomed everyone involved with open arms, and fed them all.
Little John, and his father, then flew to Colorado to complete the recovery process, and to meet those who helped spearhead the initiative to help him.
“Without God, we couldn’t really do it,” Olivier said, through a translator. “(Little John) feels he is going to have a better life in the future. He wasn’t worried, because he knows there is nothing that God cannot do.”
While Olivier said he was concerned for his son’s health, he said the surgery was completed without issue. He said, though he has to return with his son to Haiti, he would forever have new family in the United States.
“For me, it was a big deal. But, for God, it was nothing,” Olivier said. “Because, God is great, and can do all things.”
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.