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  • Jonathan Olunga: Our 10,000th Miracle
    live in Kabalagala a suburb of Kampala because this is where his father could find work However their village is Numino in Busia District Uganda His father John Olunga is a police officer while his mom Joyce Samanya Olunga is a housewife They have chosen their current home because it is only a short walk for Jonathan to go to school Jonathan s poor health was first noticed by his parents when he was 4 months old However they were not initially aware what caused his illness Like Graces parents traveled to several hospitals and even looked to traditional doctors before they thought of visiting the Uganda Heart Institute It was then that they were informed that Jonathan had a heart defect and needed surgery urgently Fortunately for Jonathan and his family they would soon be made aware of the Gift of Life program in Uganda and that he was a candidate for their help Jonathan loves football although he complains his school doesn t have enough playgrounds With a smile on his face he says he prefers to play the midfield This was received with surprise by his sisters who thought he would go for a less demanding position in the field Jonathan says that when he grows up he wishes to become a doctor so that I can treat people Jonathan is a bright boy and has always been in the top 5 of his class despite his setbacks In the face of the difficult economic conditions the family is faced with everyone is overwhelmed by the unexpectedly great news of Jonathan being able to live a healthy life They are grateful to the people of Gift of Life for their kindness and look forward to Jonathan s miracle journey to New York Jonathan will be accompanied for

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/gift-of-life-international-blog/jonathan-olunga-our-10-000th-miracle (2016-04-29)
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  • full Circle: A Child's Story
    After some searching I finally contacted Mrs Reagan and reunited with her in California at the Reagan Museum in 2007 Shortly after my reunion with Mrs Reagan I was able to reunite with Mrs Hodges and my biological family I flew to South Korea with Mrs Hodges and met my family Also in this very exciting time in my life I also reunited with GOL I can not explain the gratitude and feeling I had reuniting with everyone from my past Other than the day I received my surgery it has been the best days of my life All these people involved with me coming to America for heart surgery were coming back into my life so suddenly All the coincidences that happened regarding these reunions were a miracle For one example I had told one of my current clients about my history and come to find out his good friend had worked for Gift of Life years ago and knew Robbie Donno and contacted him That was one of the reasons how I was reunited with Gift of Life I believe that everything happens for a reason My reunion with everyone has inspired me to leave my current career to work with Gift of Life I feel that I cannot pass up this opportunity to pay it forward and give back to the children that are still out there needing heart surgery just as I did 25 years ago I attended the Gift of Life dinner dance in New York District 7250 where I received an Angel Award I humbly accepted even though I should not be the one receiving this award I believe the people of Gift of Life are My Angels I am looking forward to the next chapters of my life and I know they will

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/gift-of-life-international-blog/full-circle-a-childs-story (2016-04-29)
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  • A Host Family's Story
    so when I hear that they cannot get treatment for one reason or another I heard about Gift of Life several years ago so when it came time to choose a charity for the Long Island Chapter of the Caribbean Tourism Organization to donate proceeds of our fundraiser GOL was tops on my list Not only did I have the pleasure of co chairing the committee for the fundraiser but then I was offered the opportunity to do even more by hosting this 10 month old little guy and his mom from Jamaica for a few days over the Christmas holidays while the host family went on an annual family visit When he arrived in New York to go to the host family he appeared tired and weak His surgery was scheduled for 4 days later The surgery went so well that he was discharged after only 2 days in the hospital That weekend they came to stay with me for ten days In that short period of time I saw huge improvements in his health and behavior He ate and drank everything that was put in his mouth He was cheerful and eager I brought him to my sister s big Italian Christmas eve and everyone enjoyed him thoroughly especially my sister s Labrador retriever who couldn t get in enough kisses Everywhere I brought him that week he had a great time and was very pleasant It is remarkable how quickly he healed He was discharged by the doctor only 11 days after surgery and free to go home Comments 0 Trackbacks 0 Permalink Comments Post has no comments Post a Comment Name optional Website optional Email Address optional Enter Word Verification in box below Your comment Trackback Link http www giftoflifeinternational org BlogRetrieve aspx BlogID 12518 PostID

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/gift-of-life-international-blog/a-host-familys-story (2016-04-29)
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  • Gift of Life International Blog
    open heart surgery and her condition continued to worsen daily With no facilities in Uganda to perform the surgery she needed it appeared as though she would die Through contacts made by doctors and the Rotary Club of Kampala Comments 0 Trackbacks 0 Permalink Child Saved by Clarence Rotary in 1996 Gives Thanks Today Marisa Brayman Thursday December 08 2011 John Rydzik President PDG in 1993 94 shared the following update on Zahir Khan the first Gift if Life child saved in 1996 Thought you would like to see the wonderful letter and photo of Zahir Khan our first Gift of Life child we saved suffering from congenital heart disease Pediatric Cardiologist Daniel Pieroni reviewed two children s medical records on September 13 1996 a Comments 0 Trackbacks 0 Permalink Giving Ugandan Children a Second Chance Marisa Brayman Friday December 02 2011 Mulambuzi Joshuah is not likely to forget his fifth birthday He spent the day recovering from heart surgery that will allow him to attend school again in his village outside of Kampala Uganda Mulambuzi was 1 of 20 Ugandan children who received free heart surgeries through Gift of Life India The program is among 65 throughout the world

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/gift-of-life-international-blog/page/2/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Akam and Sara
    Dr Kal on Tuesday who gave him the clearance to go home Akam and his mother happily left this morning on an RJ flight back to Suleimaniya Sara is also doing really well She had an appointment last Thursday and today with Dr Kal to ensure she s maintaining excellent condition Sara and her grandmother Beebee will fly out tomorrow morning back to Najaf Her parents are finally relieved that she ll finally be coming home Attached are pictures throughout the week Last Friday we Saif Lina and I went with Sara and Beebee to get yummy Gerards ice cream then off to the park in beautiful sunny weather We also saw Akam at the hospital who immediately bonded with Saif We were jealous He insisted on feeding Saif from his sippy cup chocolate car keys fingers whatever else Akam could put in Saif s mouth And Saif who is thinking of becoming a pediatrician is absolutely great with kids We should all encourage him in this path Enjoy the pictures Thank you Miss you all tons Manal Dear Manal and GOLA s doctors members Rotarians patients families and all friends Thank you so much Manal for the update and the very happy news of the discharge of Akam and Sara This a moment calling for real celebration and thankfulness to the Almighty all the Surgeons from abroad and from Jordan Doctors nurses GOLA members Rotarians visitors and supporters without whose help the fourteen successful heart operations of this season wouldn t have been possible Thanks Manal and Lina for these lovely pictures that reflect great joy and an optimistic look to the FUTURE Warm cordial regards Samir Carmi H Secretary RC Amman Petra About the Children Stories Photo Gallery Testimonials Refer a Child Family Guidelines Support Gift of Life

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/testimonials/akam-and-sara (2016-04-29)
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  • Alexander Parra
    it was decided that surgery in this state may be urgent and may be necessary but would be of extremely high risk The operation necessary was planned to be a Ross operation a replacement of the Aortic valve with he patients own pulmonary valve and a implantation of an artificial valve this is a high risk operation in any child but in a child with end stage heart failure the risks were far higher It was decided that it would be better to try to improve Alex s condition prior to surgery if possible to reduce the risk Aditionally for the Ross operation a special conduit tube is required and this had to be donated and shipped from the US and was not due to arrive for a few days Alex was therefore given higher doses of medicine to remove the fluid from his lungs and was commenced on two continuous infusions of medications to support the cardiac function One of the medications Milrinone proved to be the key this is not a cheap medicine and it is not available in the hospital but was brought with the ICHF team as with each mission Alexander the next day was coughing less and after 2 days later on friday he was smiling coloring in bed and eating again it was decided to contnue with the Milrinone for the weekend and wait till monday or tuesday for the surgery 6 weeks ago Alexander was admitted to Arturo Grullon with Congestive Heart Failure and deep vein thrombosis a blood clot in the leg He was very tired all the time Throughout this time Alexander when asked how he was would reply fine His mother describes how he is a very easy boy to care about Alex won the hearts of all those who came into contact with him during his stay in hospital When the staff at Artiuro Grullon Inerns Nurses Residents and attending doctors heard that the ICHF was prepared to work on Alexander their joy was a sight to behold Alex s family is extremely grateful but all the hospital feels blessed and grateful that Alex was given a hot at getting better Alex is from Santo Domingo but there is no facility to do this type of surgery on children of poor families without insurance in Santo Domingo As with the vast majority of children operated on at Arturo Grullon they have no social security coverage and can pay little or nothing for their surgery Since the start of the programme at Arturo Grullon supported by the ICHF 721 children from poor families have received operations or catheterizations to correct heart defects Alex had his surgery on Tuesday 27th April Dr Soto and Dr Heredia were able to repair Alex s aortic valve he did not need the higher risk Ross operation and the operation was a complete success On hearing the news that valve did not need to be replaced motger said you are all a miracle Prior History

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/testimonials/alexander-parra (2016-04-29)
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  • Amela Zadeja
    GOL Every little bit will help 25 50 100 Other Donate Now Amela Zadeja In 2003 Amela Zadeja then a nine year old girl from Albania was sponsored by the Rotary District 7230 of the Bronx and received surgery at the Maria Fareri Children s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center Amela s case was brought to the attention of the Rotary by the Albanian American Women s Organization Amela s surgery was a great success and recently Amela sent the Rotary District a note expressing her thanks Hello I m Amela Zadeja I m in the seventh grade now I m very healthy thanks to you Thank you very very much for all your help 3 years ago I learned how to speak write and read in English I like to play outside and watch television God Bless You Love Amela About the Children Stories Photo Gallery Testimonials Refer a Child Family Guidelines Support Gift of Life Amazon will make a donation to Gift of Life every time you shop Our Hearts Are In Read details about the creation of centers of excellence in Uganda El Salvador and Jamaica Click Here GOL Videos Watch our Gift of Life videos about

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/testimonials/amela-zadeja (2016-04-29)
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  • Angel Jose Fernandez
    almost comparable with healthy babies but was running out of time he was given emergency drug treatment to support the strength of the heart muscle and scheduled as the first operation of the mission on April 20 2009 Angel lives with his mother and father a 5 year old sister and a 10 year old brother In conversations with Angels mother 4 days after the surgery as Angel is feeding and almost ready to go home we learn that Angel had since birth been having severe respiratory problems would gasp for air and his abdomen would move up and down as he struggled to breathe Since the diagnosis Angel s mother told of the daily worry and stress in seeing her baby so sick and how she put faith in God and is so grateful that her Angel now has a chance to grow up as a healthy boy When asked if she had anything to say to the team at Artutro Grullon the ICHF volunteers and Sponsors who made the surgery possible Angel s mother was crying tears of joy throughout her answer I am very very grateful and in eternal debt with everybody who was part of this process to save my son s life these people have done something for me which I could never pay back and they will be in my prayers always The family lives in Cien Fuego One Hundred Fires a very poor neighborhood of Santiago and like the vast majority of children seen by the team at Arturo Grullon the family are very poor and have no prospect of being treated in the USA or in any private hospital in Domincan Republic Congenital heart disease occurs in about 1 in every 100 children born worldwide and Coarctation is a type of heart

    Original URL path: http://www.giftoflifeinternational.org/testimonials/dominican-republic (2016-04-29)
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