May 14, 2006
SAFFIATU RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL
April 29, 2006
We have GREAT NEWS!
Saffiatu was released from the Israeli hospital this week and is living at the house associated with the Save a Child’s Heart program! In two weeks, her condition will be assessed and hopefully we will make travel plans for her to return home to Kabala, Sierra Leone. She sounds wonderful and is very excited. ‘Thank you to everyone for sending me here and saving my life’ came across the ocean from this sweet little 12 year old girl. Please share her message with all who helped her obtain a new lease on life! Also, many thanks to the doctors and staff at Save a Child’s Heart who are so dedicated to establishing peace in that area while curing children from all over the world, regardless of their nationality and religion. See the following link for additional information on this wonderful program: http://www.saveachildsheart.com/
Donations are still being accepted to help Saffiatu obtain the continued help she needs through the NarSarah Clinic in Kabala, Sierra Leone. Dorcas and Daniel Kamanda established this clinic after the war when there was no medical care. It serves 10,000-15,000 people. Currently, a young RI man’s Eagle Scout project is to send an ocean liner shipping crate to Kabala with medical supplies, equipment, and hopefully a car that will be used for patient transport. Think of this… when a woman is in labor and is having difficulty, her only option is to WALK to the clinic for assistance where they can only provide minimal help due to lack of resources.
If you are so moved, he is accepting donations for the shipping of this crate which will be $5000. Donations are also being accepted to help build a second room on the clinic so that patients who report for health care can have a roof over their heads. Presently, even the seriously ill have to wait outside, under rain or sunshine. All donations are tax deductible.
Donations can be made payable and sent to:
9 Exeter Ct
East Windsor, NJ 08520
March 30, 2006
In Israel, Saffiatu continues to improve. She is still in the children’s ward and will probably be there another 4 weeks. The doctors are treating her for fluid around her heart. Fortunately, it is not affecting her breathing. She is eating well and spends time visiting with her new friends. The doctors are clear that she was a very sick little girl when she arrived and they are encouraged by her progress.
March 26, 2006
Dorcas Kamanda reports that Saffiatu received the get well card from the church and was delighted to know she has so many friends around the world. Dorcas calls each week to check on Saffiatu. Her recovery is going well.
March 16, 2006
Dorcas Kamanda spoke with Safiatu and her mother. They are both doing very well. Safiatu is out of intensive care and into intermediate care. This means she still needs medical care and monitoring. She was very glad to speak with me and immediately said to say thanks to everyone.
March 11, 2006
The most recent news from Israel on Saffiatu is that she continues to improve. She is talking and eating! Although she is still in intensive care, she is now receiving physical therapy and could be out of intensive care next week. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.
March 3, 2006
Praise God for Miracles: Saffiatu Bah Has Her Heart Surgery
Thanks to God’s blessings, the unbelievable kindness of strangers, and the hard work of the North Kingstown, Rhode Island United Methodist Church congregation, Saffiatu Bah, the 12-year-old girl from Sierra Leone, West Africa has had her long awaited and so far successful heart surgery at a hospital in Tel Aviv.
The surgery repaired two valves in her heart and Saffiatu is slowly recovering at the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Since Saffiatu’s condition was worse than expected when she finally arrived at Save A Child’s Heart Hospital on February 7, her recovery period may be extensive. Doctors will determine her post operation care over the next several weeks. She has a long way to go, but the first critical step has been taken to save her life.
Doctors evaluated Saffiatu and provided extensive medical care in the weeks between her arrival in Tel Aviv and the operation. In addition to the hole in her heart, doctors determined Saffiatu had two faulty heart valves that needed surgery to repair.
The good news on Saffiatu’s surgery came Thursday March 2nd in a note from Lisa Dallas, a member of the church, who has been coordinating the fund raising effort to pay for the medical care. Since this summer, the church has been conducting fund raising drives to provide the estimated $25,000 needed for the girl’s travel, medical evaluation, surgery and post operation medical care.
The congregation has offered daily prayers for Saffiatu and her family, made Valentine’s cards, bracelets and work projects to help raise the money for the surgery. An 8-year-old boy staged a 16 mile bike ride to raise over $1,700 for Saffiatu. The public responded with generous giving after learning of the effort in local newspaper and television reports. A local toy store donated part of a day’s receipts, schools collected money and a flood of people responded to make the miracle happen. Lisa Dallas said, "Thanks to you all for your prayers, generosity and hard work to make this happen."
In an email to many who contributed, Lisa included two photos of Saffiatu that show the marked difference in the child’s condition between November of last year and her condition after doctors had spent several weeks improving her health just prior to surgery.
The Rev. Beverly Stenmark, pastor of North Kingstown United Methodist Church, said, "God has blessed this child and we pray He will continue to watch over her. At a time of great religious strife in the world, people of many faiths have come together to help save a Muslin child at a Jewish hospital in Tel Aviv."
March 2, 2006
It is with great excitement that we share this wonderful news with you all! Safiatu underwent surgery in Tel Aviv, Israel. She traveled from Sierra Leone with her mom and arrived safely at Save a Child’s Heart Hospital on February 7th. They have been preparing her for this surgery during the past few weeks.
The surgery successfully repaired two valves in her heart and she is now slowly recovering at the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit As her condition was quite poor upon arrival at the hospital, her recovery might take a bit longer than originally expected. During the next month or so, her post operative medications and care will be determined. She has a long road ahead of her but this was the most critical step. Thank you for all of your prayers for Saffiatu, her mother and the medical team caring for her.
February 16, 2006
Doctors in Israel continue to evaluate Saffiatu
The latest word today from Saffiatu's cardiologists in Tel Aviv is the young girl is suffering from several heart ailments, but doctors remain hopeful that her condition is treatable. She will continue to undergo additional medical evaluation prior to any surgery. Saffiatu arrived in Tel Aviv on February 7 and has been under the watchful eyes of doctors. Please continue to pray for Saffiatu. We will update you when more information is available.
February 3, 2006
Saffiatu arrives in Tel Aviv
Saffiatu arrived safely in Tel Aviv and is being evaluated by doctors for her heart surgery.
January 21, 2006
Valentine Cards Help Raise Funds for Saffiatu -- Church members created a Valentine's Day card which has been sold to help raise funds for Saffiatu's surgery. We sold out our first printing.
Saffiatu's story will also be featured in the February issue of Spirit.net, the monthly publication of the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. Look for it on the conference website www.neumc.org in February.
January 12, 2006
Rhode Island Church Rallies to Save A Child in Need of Heart Surgery
Three religions that trace their roots to Abraham are coming together as a United Methodist church in North Kingstown, Rhode Island raises funds to provide life-saving heart surgery for a Muslim Child at a Jewish hospital in Israel. Saffiatu Bah, a 12-year-old girl has been waiting at her home in Sierra Leone, West Africa for a trip to Israel and the operation at a hospital in Tel Aviv that could save her life, by repairing a hole in her heart.
Lisa Dallas, a member of North Kingstown United Methodist Church and mother of four girls from West Greenwich, Rhode Island has been leading the church’s effort to raise the estimated $25,000 needed for the surgery, travel and medical care following the operation. Lisa’s daughters – twins Samantha and Abbey, both 11, Carly, 8 and Grace, 4 – learned about Saffiatu’s ordeal from an item posted in the North Kingstown church weekly bulletin by Cranston residents Daniel and Dorcas Kamanda. The Kamanda family, also members of the North Kingstown church, started the NarSarah Clinic four years ago in Kabala, a town in Sierra Leone where Saffiatu lives and where Dorcas grew up. Dorcas became aware of Saffiatu last summer and began reaching out for help to save the girl’s life.
Lisa Dallas and her family have developed a strong bond for the little girl they have never met. Saffiatu’s ordeal has also become a mission for The Rev. Beverly Stenmark, pastor at the North Kingstown United Methodist Church, and the church congregation which has earmarked a portion of a special fund to help meet the goal. Church members have also contributed additional donations. After countless long distance phone calls, emails and hard work, Lisa Dallas, husband Jeff, and their children have worked tirelessly to secure the hospital in Tel Aviv where the surgery can be performed. Lisa credits her four young daughters with inspiring their congregation to act on Saffiautu’s behalf. Notes 11-year-old Samantha, "She should not have to suffer because of where she was born. If she lived here, she would have had surgery by now and would be playing with her friends." The hospital where the surgery will be performed also treats Palestinian children in need of medical care.
The North Kingstown congregation, helped by some contributions from the public, which became aware of Saffiatu’s condition through local Providence television and newspaper accounts, had raised $15,000 by mid January -- over half of the estimated amount needed for the surgery and travel. The Dallas family also has secured the necessary passports and visa paperwork for Saffiatu and her mother to travel to Israel for the medical evaluation and, hopefully, the needed surgery. "With God’s help, we are going to make this miracle happen," said Lisa.
Updates on the current status of the fund raising and story of Saffiatu can be found on the North Kingstown United Methodist Church website at www.nkumcri.com. If you would like to contribute, donations can be made by writing a check to ‘SEED’ and mailing it to North Kingstown United Methodist Church, 450 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852.
"We are trying to give Saffiatu a fighting chance," says Dorcas Kamanda. "Her condition will continue to degenerate unless she is evaluated and receives treatment now."
Contacts for this story: Lisa Dallas 401-316-1210 LJdallas@cox.net
January 8, 2006
Faiths Rally to Save A Child in Need of Heart Surgery
A United Methodist church in North Kingstown, RI is raising funds to provide life-saving heart surgery for a West African Muslim Child at an Israeli hospital. Saffiatu Bah, a 12-year old girl is waiting at her home in Sierra Leone, West Africa for an operation at an Israeli hospital in Tel Aviv that could save her life by repairing a hole in her heart.
Lisa Dallas, a member of North Kingstown United Methodist Church and mother of 4 girls from West Greenwich has been leading the mission to raise the $25,000 needed for the surgery. Lisa’s daughters – twins Samantha an Abbey, both 11, Carly, 8 and Grace, 4 – learned about Saffiatu’s ordeal from an item posted in the church bulletin by Cranston residents Daniel and Dorcas Kamanda. The Kamanda family, also members of the North Kingstown church, started the NarSarah Clinic four years ago in Kabala, a town in Sierra Leone where Saffiatu lives and where Dorcas grew up. Dorcas became aware of Saffiatu last summer and began reaching out for help to save the girl’s life.
After countless phone calls, emails and hard work, Lisa Dallas, husband Jeff, and their children have secured the hospital in Tel Aviv where the surgery can be performed. Lisa credits her four young daughters with inspiring their congregation to act on Saffiautu’s behalf. Notes 11 year old Samantha, "She should not have to suffer because of where she was born. If she lived here, she would have had surgery by now and would be playing with her friends."
The congregation and the public, through television and newspaper accounts of Saffiatu’s condition, have raised over half of the amount needed for the surgery. The Dallas family also is securing the necessary passports for Saffiatu and her mother to travel to Israel.
Donations can be made by writing a check to SEED and mailing it to North Kingstown United Methodist Church, 450 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852. "We are trying to give Saffiatu a fighting chance," says Dorcas Kamanda. "Her condition will continue to degenerate unless she is evaluated and receives treatment now."
January 7, 2006
Saffiatu is now scheduled to have her surgery performed in Israel, according to Lisa Dallas. The latest development was covered by the Providence Journal in its January 6th edition.
January 3, 2006
Rhode Islanders Rally for West African Girl with Serious Heart Condition
A group of Rhode Islanders is racing against the clock to save the life of a twelve-year- old girl from Sierra Leone, West Africa who is suffering from a hole in her heart. Saffiatu Bah, from Kabala in northern Sierra Leone, is unable to receive a full diagnosis and treatment because of inadequate medical facilities in the West African country.
Members of the North Kingstown United Methodist Church are rallying to Saffiatu’s cause by raising the funds needed to send her to Ghana, a nearby West African country for an echocardiogram and, depending on results, a procedure on her heart.
"We are trying to raise $25,000, quickly, and we are about half-way there", notes Lisa Dallas of West Greenwich, a member of the congregation who is leading the effort. "Saffiatu needs to travel to Ghana, with her mother, to receive full diagnosis and a heart procedure. Time is of the essence."
The church community was made aware of Saffiatu’s plight by one of its members, Dorcas Kamanda, a nurse midwife who hails from Kabala, Sierra Leone. A resident of Cranston, Rhode Island, Kamanda has worked with Sierra Leoneans and Americans to launch SEED, a faith based organization whose mission includes providing basic medical services to people in rural areas of Sierra Leone. The NarSarah Clinic in Kabala is their first project. Nurses at the clinic, including Kamanda’s sister and brother, have been caring for Saffiatu, providing medicine to relieve symptoms and give her strength. But Saffiatu spends most of her days in bed, resting.
"We are trying to give Saffiatu a fighting chance" says Kamanda. "Her condition will continue to degenerate unless she is evaluated and receives treatment now."
Lisa Dallas credits her four young daughters with inspiring their congregation to act on Safiautu’s behalf. Notes 11 year old Samantha, "She should not have to suffer because of where she was born. If she lived here, she would have had surgery by now and would be playing with her friends."
Tax-deductible donations can be made, payable to SEED, and mailed to North Kingstown United Methodist Church, 450 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Any excess funds raised will be used to treat other children at SEED’s NarSarah Clinic in Kabala, Sierra Leone.
For more information, contact Lisa Dallas at 401-316-1210.
December 23, 2005
Surgery has been arranged. You can help with your donation by sending a check to SEED and mailed to North Kingstown United Methodist Church, 450 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852.
Phase One – Passport for Saffiatu’s mom. Getting Saffiatu and Mom from Kabala to the Airport in Sierra Leone. Flight to Accra, Ghana. Echocardiogram and food while in Accra, Ghana.
Phase Two- Surgery and recovery time (food) in Accra, Ghana.
Total cost $25,000
Donations should be made payable to SEED and mailed to: North Kingstown United Methodist Church, 450 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, RI 02817
For more information, call 316-1210.
Eleven-year-old Saffiatu Bah has a hole in her heart. She lives with her Muslim parents and two other siblings in Kabala, Sierra Leone, West Africa. Although she may have been born with the hole in heart, Saffiatu looked fairly healthy until age 9 years.
Then she developed a toothache and was taken first to the hospital in Kabala, and to the government hospital in Freetown. The latter referred Saffiatu to Dr. Black who is in private practice, also in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dr. Black discovered Saffiatu’s heart condition in December 2003. Her parent’s had since sought treatment at another hospital in Sierra Leone.
Unfortunately, little Saffiatu continues to be sick. Then in July 2005, Saffiatu now back in Kabala was brought to NarSarah Clinic. NarSarah Clinic is first project of SEED (Christ Is The Answer) a faith-based organization. SEED was founded by Daniel and Dorcas Kamanda of North Kingstown United Methodist Church in Rhode Island, and Dorcas’ American parents Hope and Les Law of Colorado. The clinic provides primary health care for persons in the disadvantaged District of Koinadugu, in Northern Sierra Leone. The District is predominantly Muslim. Like all other healthcare facilities in Sierra Leone, NarSarah Clinic does not have the instrumentation and manpower to treat Saffiatu.
Compared to a year ago, Saffiatu has lost weight, most likely because of poor nutrition. Her family is destitute. She spends long hours sitting alone in her bed. She cannot walk long distance like she used to, and does not have the energy to play with her friends. Saffiatu’s condition requires surgery to close the hole and get her heart working properly for the first time. The surgery should be done quickly. Time does not seem to be on Saffiatu’s side. When asked what she needed, Saffiatu answered simply, "Help me." Perhaps Saffiatu belongs with the lucky ones who beat the odds, get successful surgery in America, and return to their home countries with a new lease on life. To achieve this, Saffiatu would need help with at least the following:
An army of prayer warriors to pray for a successful intervention.
A roundtrip air ticket from Sierra Leone to the place where the surgery will be performed.
A Sierra Leone passport for her to leave her home country.
A hospital and a cardiologist that would offer to do the necessary surgery.
For further information, please call Daniel and Dorcas Kamanda at 401-463-1909, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org