Breath of New Life: George’s Transformation

Egypt – George is one of those selfless people who makes a lasting impact on everyone he interacts with. At the age of 48, he is single, but by by no means lonely. He is the dedicated caretaker of his mother, who lives with him, and is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. Everyone in his neighborhood in Egypt, where he lives, describes him as compassionate and eager to serve those in need.

About a year ago, George began experiencing shortness of breath. At first, he didn’t let it affect him much, still going about his daily activities without thinking much about it. But soon, that inability to get a full breath began to slow him down.

Performing basic household tasks became more challenging, and as that shortness of breath continued to worsen, George worried that he wouldn’t be able to keep caring for his mother. An expensive visit to a primary care doctor didn’t give him many specific answers, but the doctor was able to tell him one thing: his heart was the problem.

George is a generous man, but one of humble means. His income is just enough to meet his needs, and there is no extra leftover each month for extravagant things like doctor’s visits – especially to specialists. He knew he needed specialty medical care, but didn’t know where to turn, because he couldn’t afford it.

Just as George was about to give up hope, he heard about a medical mission team who would be visiting a nearby hospital. The team specialized in cardiology, which is exactly what George needed. Almost unwilling to hope, he applied to be a potential patient, and to his surprise, he was accepted.

The cardiologists on the mission team diagnosed the specific problem with George’s heart and told him he would need surgery to fix it – a whole new valve, in fact. At that news, George’s hopes fell. How was he going to afford an expensive surgery like that?

What George didn’t realize was that these doctors came to offer heart surgeries – and because of donations of heart valves and rings provided by MAP International, they could offer these surgeries for free.

George got his surgery, complete with a brand-new aortic valve; a few days after his operation, he could already tell that his life had been changed. No more heavy breathing or racing heart just walking down the hall. He could live his life again – and breathe.

Dr. Moheb Ibrahim, who performed George’s surgery, wrote to MAP to say thank-you for the donated supplies that were used in George’s operation. “Donated valves and rings have made a real difference in the lives of these patients,” he said.

With his rediscovered energy and ability to function restored, George is now back to living his life – serving his mother and so many others in his community. As it turns out, George wasn’t the only one to benefit from his new heart valve.


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