Skinny 15-year-old Ali Kamara with a life-threatening heart defect has undergone a successful heart surgery in France.
Ali spent 12 months in Sierra Leone’s sparsely equipped Connaught Hospital, barely hanging onto life with a severely damaged aortic valve caused by a streptococcal infection. This state caused him hard time breathing even when he slept. Pikin Bizness, a charitable organisation which has been sponsoring kids for such operations, took up his case and made it a priority even though the charity had assembled a list of 150 gravely ill kids who urgently needed heart surgeries.
With a population of about 5.3 million there is only one cardiologist, Desmond Olu-Black who diagnoses cardiac patients with a stethoscope and an aging EKG.