Akewak Returns Home After Surgery!

Akewak, a 14-year-old Ethiopian boy, came to Dr. Rick earlier this year
with a bad back. Exam and studies showed that he had VACTERL syndrome,
with heart, limb, and spine problems. Most seriously, Rick discovered
that Akewak had terribly botched heart surgery seven years before. Akewak
had a  PDA, a blood vessel which normally closes at birth but which
did not in his case. Instead, his pulmonary artery was accidentally
cut. This was discovered during his spine exam! Without treatment, it
would likely lead to his early death.

After consultation with the top pediatric cardiologists in the USA,
Akewak was sent to Denver where he was operated at Denver Children’s
Hospital. With great generosity, all doctors and the hospital worked
for free, and this week Akewak returned to Ethiopia with a new
pulmonary artery and a strong back.

We are extremely grateful for the kindness of thepeople of Denver towards Akewak.

In a related story: Akewak recently made the first donation to the Dinner of Unconditional Love, an event in January 2011 that will support Dr. Hodes’ work in Ethiopia.

 

Akewak with Dr. Steve Berman, former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Kim Schneider Malek, his host mom and host sister.

 

 

All smiles: Akewak and Dr. Hodes

 

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