Two Ugandan boys flown to Greenville for open heart surgery

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Shelley Leicht said the two little boys she hosted had a blue tint to their skin when they arrived in Greenville from Uganda.

“These boys had a congenital heart defect, which is the most common blue heart disease in the world,” said Dr. Charlie Sang, pediatric cardiologist at Vidant Medical Center.

Patients are usually treated a couple of months after they are born, but the open heart surgery Elijah and Daniel needed was not available in Uganda.

So the Samaritan’s Purse non-profit organization flew the boys from Uganda to Greenville so they could have their surgery at Vidant Medical Center.

They put them with an interpreter, a team of doctors and a local family.

“Be the change you want to see,” said Leight, who hosted the boys. “It’s corny but it is true. Their lives are changed. Two sick little boys came into our home — they could not even eat a meal without becoming exhausted — and now they can run and play.”

Post-surgery, you can’t even tell Daniel and Elijah had anything wrong with them, and their families are forever grateful.

“She feels joy, and she gives thanks to God,” said Cissy Birungi, Elijah’s mother.

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