For those of you who are not aware, I’d like to bring you up to speed on an important development. During our recent trip to West Africa, we met a young child named Guedalia who suffered 3rd degree burns to her right wrist and hand when she accidentally placed her hand in boiling oil. I attempted some myofascial techniques and stretching, but could see that the contractures and deformity she developed would require corrective hand surgery.
When I returned to the states, I sent emails out to two highly respected hand surgeons on Long Island to ask if they would consider performing this surgery pro bono. What happened next has been fairly amazing. Dr. Alexander Dagum, chief of plastic surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital, not only agreed to help Guedalia free of charge, but he also presented a request to Stony Brook and within 1 month of the request, they too have agreed to provide all hospital services without charge to the patient or her family. Thank you Dr. Dagum; thank you University Hospital, and thank you God!
The next hurdle was to fly Guedalia, her Uncle Georges and Aunt Esther Sawadogo from Burkina Faso to NY – JFK, which could run well over $5,000. It took some investigative work to find the right person in Paris, but Air France just approved 2 round trip tickets for 1 adult and 1 child, free of charge on a humanitarian basis. Consequently, our only expense will be 1 adult round trip ticket. Thank you Air France!
The plan is for Georges, Esther, and Guedalia to arrive in NY on November 9th and return home to West Africa on December 7th. The plastic surgery to Guedalia’s hand is scheduled for November 14th at Stony Brook. I’ve attached a picture of Guedalia and her Aunt Esther to this email.
Again, my thanks goes out to Dr. Dagum, SUNY Stony Brook, and Air France for reminding us that there are good people out there who still care!
Dr. Howard Makofsky
Kaya’s Kids, Inc.