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Wheels Up! From Kampala to Kolkata

It was wheels up for seven children from Uganda today! After 10 months of anxious waiting during the COVID lockdown, multiple visa applications, canceled plane tickets, endless red tape, and medical tests, the children finally took off for India where they will now have their chance for long-awaited heart surgeries. Our group of 7 children, 6 moms, 1 aunt, 1 nurse, and 1 social worker all received their negative COVID test results in the nick of time today while they were waiting in line to check in. Phew!

There were lots of questions during the check-in process, but thankfully they made it to the gate with enough time to relax for a little bit.

The mothers were quite exhausted from all the pre-trip preparations, and we all hoped the white noise on the plane would lull the little ones right to sleep so that they could get some rest as well.

The kids were a mixture of excited, tired, wiggly, and wondering when they get to go home. Jeremiah’s mom said that he was ready to run all around the terminal, but that would have to wait for another day.

Shellie posed for the camera on her first flight, and her excitement was palpable. Her clubbed fingers, though, show just how urgent this trip has become and how she cannot wait much longer to have her heart repaired.

Baby Sallie had some trouble breathing on the flight, but Nurse Sharon kept a close eye on her. A kind flight attendant upgraded Sallie and her mom to business class, and once she settled down, she did fine for the remainder of the flight.

We’re grateful to report that our group of 14 has landed safely in Dubai and made it to their hotel rooms for the night. Multiple alarms are set to make sure and wake up in plenty of time for their flight to India tomorrow!

One step closer to healing.

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