Brussels Airlines, US Philanthropist Group Relieve Distressed Parent

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Brussels Airlines Liberian office has pledged to transport a sick child and his father to the United States to seek medical attention.  The medical operation is to be sponsored by HeartGift, a US philanthropist group based in Texas.

Speaking to the Daily Observer in an interview on March 24, Brussels Airlines Sales Executive, Alma Harris, said her company has done more of such for many people in Liberia, and that Brussels Airlines is committed to assisting vulnerable Liberians especially children to seek medical attention abroad.

She disclosed that over the time Brussels Airlines has transported approximately 25 children to go for medical treatment abroad.

Giving details about how the airline company came in contact with Mr. Ishmael Keita whose son has being diagnosed of Congenital Heart Defect, Ms Harris said the company and Mr. Keita were connected through the instrumentality of Dr. Ken W. Hasson of the United States Embassy and others at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

Of recent, she said they have flown five persons and the Keita family is joining the number.

She indicated that wherever any group operates a business, the wellbeing of the people becomes the concern, and Brussels Airlines is doing this not because of getting something in return but to assist the needy in the Liberian society.

She said if the fare be left with the family to pay, they would spend between US$1,600 to US$2,000, which according to her is too much for such a single family with low income to pay.

Also speaking to the Daily Observer, the father of the ill child, Ishmael F. Keita said he has visited many clinics and hospitals in Liberia and Ghana, finding means as to how his three-year-old child can recover from the Congenital Heart Defect, which he contracted from birth.

Fortunately, Mr. Keita said he came in contact with one Cori S. Stern of the HeartGift group based in the United States and from one point to the other he was connected to Ken W. Hasson of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia.

“Through contact with these people and some Liberian Doctors including Dr. Watta Sia Carmanor of John F. Kennedy Medical Center, God has made a way to have the hope that my child, Ishmael Keita, Jr. will recover after going many places including Ghana where the diagnosis was made that he is suffering from Congenital Heart Defect,” he said.

“It is Dr. Ken W. Hasson, who connected me to Brussels Airlines and it (Brussels Airlines) is about to render me this great assistance along with HeartGift,” Mr. Keita asserted.

According to him, HeartGift will underwrite the costs of the medical operation, their stay in the USA and transportation from the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, central Texas.

He stressed that assistance from the two groups shows the reality of God as he did everything to seek help from some compatriots but could not get a positive response.

“I use my little income to carry this child all over, and it caused my business I make to sustain the family to collapse.  If God had not intervened to bring Brussels Airlines and HeartGift on my way, I would have lost the child.  I thank God and these two groups ever so much for lifting men up to have another hope,” Mr. Keita said.

Specifically stressing on transportation, Mr. Keita said the merciful gesture of HeartGift would not have yielded fruit if Brussels Airlines had not come in to transport them to the United States because of the cost attached.

Giving some brief accounts of the child, Keita said the sickness causes him to have reddish eyes with blue fingers.  He said the child often squat to rest when he walks for a few minutes because of intense weakness.

However, he said medicine prescribed to upkeep the child is helping him to have appetite to eat and grow well.

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