and on a more positive note

Why is news like this not shared more often?

I found this news so sweet and optimistic, and thought it was a current event actually worth sharing.

Afghanistan's cardiac kids

The Times-Union

University of Florida heart specialists will help provide free cardiac care -- valued at more than $80,000 combined -- for two Afghan children with severe heart defects who were brought to a National Guard camp.

The boys, age 2 and 7, have a history of congenital heart defects. The surgeries are scheduled to be performed at Wolfson Children's Hospital next month to improve the boys' blood oxygen levels for a better quality of life and longer life expectancies. The younger child, Azad Kofi, has a single functioning ventricle with pulmonary stenosis, which has led to severely impaired oxygen levels. The older child, Tamim Sarwari, suffers from tetralogy of Fallot, which causes chronic lack of circulation, creating clubbing of his fingers and swelling of his digits. His fingers and lips are blue.

Both children get exhausted easily and are "not as active as we would expect other children of their ages to be," said Ronald Renuart, a colonel with the Florida Army National Guard. He first saw the boys while stationed as a doctor at Camp Phoenix on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Azad was brought to the front gate of Camp Phoenix by his father, Renuart recalled. The child was blue around his lips and fingers and didn't cry a lot.

"He was breathing fast and his heart rate was rapid," said Renuart, who also is a former chief of staff at Baptist Medical Center Beaches.

There was nothing Renuart could do at the camp.

"It was a surgical problem," he said.

Expenses for the medical mission will be covered by Patrons of the Hearts, an endowment which brings children from foreign countries to Jacksonville for cardiac care. The endowment is a partnership between Wolfson, the University of Florida and Fogle Fine Art & Accessories.

Medical and surgical services for the two boys are being donated by Wolfson, while the heart specialists will donate their time and expertise.

Wolfson provides free medical care to about 10 to 12 needy children from foreign countries annually at a total cost of at least $500,000, hospital spokeswoman Vikki Mioduszewski said. Wolfson spends about $10 million annually in providing charity and uncompensated care.

God bless,

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