Lee visits young heart surgery patients in India
RI President-elect Dong Kurn Lee
Mohd Ayud Bhatt was moved to tears of joy when RI President-elect Dong Kurn Lee chatted with his seven-year-old son, Amir, who was recovering at a hospital in India from heart surgery funded by Rotarians.
Amir had suffered from an acute upper respiratory tract infection that had spread to his heart. Without surgery, the infection would have been fatal. Bhatt couldn’t afford the cost of the procedure and postoperative treatment, so the Gift of Life program in Delhi, founded and operated by Rotarians, paid for Amir’s care as well as for heart surgeries for five other children.
Lee, who visited Amir and the others at the National Heart Institute in New Delhi on 31 August, sees Gift of Life as an invaluable initiative. “The life of a child is so important,” he says. “Rotary will always continue programs that improve the health and well-being of children.”
Past RI Director Sushil Gupta and A.C. Peter, chief coordinator of Gift of Life India, accompanied Lee on his walk through the hospital as he spoke with each Gift of Life patient and his or her parents.
Afterward, Lee met with doctors and hospital staff to show his appreciation for their work and to emphasize the importance of international partnership. He spoke about Gift of Life as a classic example of Rotarians’ efforts to promote peace and understanding through international community service.