Dr. Rick flew to Ghana last week, accompanied by 20 spine patients, ranging in age from 3 to over 20. We have great things happening these days – Befekadu, located via Facebook, has had successful surgery and is now on-the-mend. Mesai, who had slept in a taxi at night while he was homeless, is doing well in traction.
Ambassador Gifti Abasiya, Ethiopian Ambassador to Ghana, visited our project and, speaking both Amharic and Oromifa, spent several hours with our patients. She encouraging them to get through their medical treatment with courage, to study hard, and to build their lives and build Ethiopia. Ambassador Gifti pointed out that she estimates there are 50 Ethiopians in Ghana. That’s not counting our 60 patients. By these counts, the MAJORITY of Ethiopians in Ghana are our spine patients!
Ambassador Sharon Bar-Li, of Israel, was delighted to see this project uniting Americans, and Ethiopians, and people of all faiths with the goal of healing Ethiopian youths with spinal deformities.
The patients met us with poems in English and Amharic, and a wonderful sign welcoming us to the “House of Spain.” They meant Spine – we loved this gesture.