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.
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