Our 'Queen Ester' from Tanzania has returned home, a happy, healthy and beaming child. Here is her wonderful story:
Ester Samuel Ndakata is an eight year old orphan from Tanzania. She is a Massai child living in an orphanage, run by Sister Angelika Wohlenberg for female Massai orphans. When Ester fell ill, Sister Angelika took her to Mater Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, and was told that Ester needs heart surgery otherwise she will not live for more than two years. Unable to afford the high costs associated with her surgery in Nairobi, it was recommended that Sister Angelika contact Save a Child's Heart for help.
On September 29th 2010, Sister Angelika sent an email to Save a Child's Heart, asking us for our help with sick Ester. To her luck, Simon Fisher, Executive Director of Save a Child's Heart, and Dr. Godwin Godfrey, training physician from Tanzania in pediatric cardiac surgery, were due to fly to Tanzania in 2 days time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This climb was in preparation for the Save a Child's Heart Kilimanjaro Challenge 2011.
On October 1st 2010, the Save a Child's Heart team arrived in Moshi where they were due to stay before their climb. Meeting them at the hotel, Sister Angelika brought along Ester and the medical reports she was given by Dr Gechera. After checking them and diagnosing her with rheumatic heart disease, Dr. Godfrey recommended that she gather more medical information on Ester so that he could submit her records to the Save a Child's Heart medical team in the Wolfson Medical Center in Israel.
During the next 5 days, Simon, Dr. Godfrey and Einav, a Save a Child's Heart volunteer, climbed the tremendous mountain. Continuing with the magical story, on their return from the climb, their arrival destination was the city of Arusha, the city where the orphanage is located. They visited the home and met with Sister Angelika, Ester and the other 15 children who live in the home.
View a video of Ester in the orphanage here.
The Save a Child's Heart team listened to the children sing their beautiful local songs and dance their traditional dances. By this time, Sister Angelika had gathered all the necessary medical reports on Ester and they were taken to Israel with the returning climbers.
After evaluation by Dr. Akiva Tamir and to everyone’s delight, Ester was told that Save a Child's Heart was able to carry out her open heart surgery.
Ester arrived in Israel in January and on January 20th she had her life saving heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center, performed by Dr. Lior Sasson.
She was followed by journalists who were in awe at the story of this young yet strong willed girl.
See Ester on CBN news.
See Ester on Jerusalem online.
See Ester on Channel 2 news (Hebrew).