Tesfaye is a teenage boy from rural Gojjam who came to me at a Catholic mission where I see spine patients as part of our JDC spine program. Tesfaye had a bad back for years, due to tuberculosis as well as ankylosing spondylitis. I ended up sending Tesfaye to Dr. Boachie in Ghana 3 times. In the end, he never had surgery because he needed more complicated aftercare than Ghana could offer.
It seemed like it would be impossible to help Tesfaye, and he was stuck with a reptile-like back. That is, until Gary Segal of Vancouver visited us, and he took up Tesfaye’s cause. He negotiated with Vancouver General Hospital, and he funded Tesfaye’s surgery there. Last summer, Dr. Marcel Dvorak and his team operated successfully.
Gary has done a wonderful job reporting all this on his blog: http://tesfayesjourney.blogspot.com
Tesfaye is now back in Addis Ababa and going to school. Even better, Gary came to Ethiopia some months ago and brought Tesfaye back to his village, where his mom saw him for the first time after surgery. The whole village celebrated.
Many thanks to Gary, Dr. Dvorak, his team in Vancouver, and everyone else who helped Tesfaye.
Click to learn more about Tesfaye’s History. Photos and history distributed with permission.
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