A four year old boy from the East African nation of Kenya will arrive in San Antonio later today to undergo life saving heart surgery at University Hospital, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The operation is courtesy of the local charity HeartGift.
Paige Kauffman, who runs HeartGift, says Hamza Mohamud was chosen for this operation from among hundreds of requests from around the world.
“We review all the cases, our medical selection committee here thought he had a great shot at getting the surgery that he needs here, and sending him home soon after, ready for a long and happy life,” Kauffman told News Radio 1200 WOAI’s Megan Bishop.
Hamza was born with a congenital heart defeat that results in ‘greatly decreased life expectancy, Kauffman said. He essentially has a hold in his heart.
She says since Hamza’s family do not have access to the medical care he requies in Kenya, he was referred to HeartGift by a physician in Kenya. He will become the 46th patient to receive heart surgery in san Antonio, thanks to HeartGift.
He will arrive with his father Bashir Mohamud late today, the operation is set for next week, and Kauffman says Hamza will celebrate his fifth birthday in San Antonio later this month.
“We want to see what his favorite foods are, and many of our board members have kids his age, so we hope to get some kids around and have a lot o fun,” she siad.
Hamza and his father will live with a local family, Tim & Ashley Bierty, while they spend roughly a month in San Antoio before returning to Kenya on November 14th.
“The host family will have an opportunity learn about their culture and take them around the area, to places like the San Antonio Zoo, and other cultural sites here,” she said.
She says HeartGift is able to do this due to generous donations from thousands of people, plus the generous contributions of University Hospital and local physicians and surgeons.