Once an ill young boy on the verge of death in Ethiopia, Mesfin Yana is now healthy and on the cusp of graduating from Georgia State University as a respiratory therapist. Dr. Hodes came across Mesfin in 2001 and quickly identified his condition as rheumatic fever, a very serious heart condition that required immediate surgery. Mesfin was flown to the US for surgery with the help of Dr. Allen Dollar and the nonprofit organization Children’s Cross Connections International. Dr. Dollar would go on to adopt Mesfin and raise him in Atlanta.
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