Monday, October 24, 2011

Hospitalized Albanian children need translators in New York

Dear Friends,

After successful life saving cardiac surgery of the first two children from Kosova at Children's Hospital Boston, the third child in need of cardiac surgery is in the process of coming to Schneider Children's Hospital in New York. Her name is Anisa and she is 5 years old. Her surgery is scheduled in early May.

This is a program of Gift of Life International, which offers cardiac surgery with the help of more than 50 Cardiac Surgery Departments across the United States, to children of the world who live in countries that don't have cardiac surgery services. The surgery is offered completely free of charge for the patients.

We have founded Gift of Life Kosova (GOLKOS) based in Prishtina as a functional structure to coordinate the process of selecting, screening and preparing patients prior to their departure to the United States.

However, children and their parents don't speak any English and we would need Albanians of goodwill who would be able to offer some translation during their free time while this child and her mother are here for heart surgery.

We had 8 volunteer Albanians from Boston area last fall who helped tremendously via verbal translations the two children from Kosova while they were at Children's Hospital Boston. Gift of Life branches and Rotary Clubs involved with Kosova children have issued letters of recommendation and support for our volunteer Albanian students who have assisted our patients, which letters have had a very positive impact as proof of community service and volunteer work when Albanian students wanted to apply for degree programs and scholarships in American Universities.

As volunteer work for patients in need is highly valued and appreciated, and our patient and her mother would need translation help, I would like to invite all those Albanians that live in New York close to Schneider Chidren's Hospital, 269-01 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, New York 11040, to offer some volunteer verbal translation services at their convenience for Anisa and her mother when they come for surgery in early May.

Learning from our experience with the two children already operated and returned to Kosova, in the process of helping our patients that come for life saving surgery through Gift of Life program, everybody is welcome to contribute and that contribution is most appreciated. However, organizational, business or personal promotions, social marketing or other ways of advertising through our Gift of Life program are strongly discouraged, as it is in violation with the ethical frameworks that Rotary International maintains and in violation of HIPAA protocols our hospitals here in the U.S. are enforced by law to respect. And this is very important for us to be able to bring more children from Kosova for heart surgery in the months and years to come.

I would appreciate if you would forward this email to our Albanian organizations and Albanians of goodwill in New York area and urge Albanian students and people of goodwill to give their volunteer services at their convenience through verbal translation for this patient and her mother. As soon as they contact me I would be happy to put them in touch with Gift of Life Branch in New York that is in charge for the care for Anisa.

I also want to thank once again the 8 Albanian volunteers from Boston area who did a wonderful job translating for our two patients, Endrit and Beqir last fall in Children's Hospital Boston.

I want to thank all of you for your help and consideration for our children from Kosova going for life saving cardiac surgery here in the United States.

Warm regards,

Dr. Gani Abazi

Gani S. Abazi, MD, MPH
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Neurosurgery Department
Children's Hospital Boston & Harvard Medical School
300 Longwood Avenue, Hunnewell 2,
Boston, MA, 02115, USA


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