Hanna Batu, a girl suffering from a serious heart ailment, has been saved thanks to the work of the Pablo Horstmann Foundation in Ethiopia
Thirteen years ago, when she was barely two, Hanna Batu was abandoned at the gates of the Salesian sisters’ mission in the city of Ziway, 170 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The girl suffered from serious health problems. Apart from severe malnutrition, he suffered from heart failure, dextrocardia, and tricuspid atresia. Everything was conspired so that the little girl did not get ahead, but she did, thanks to the efforts of the missionaries and the Pablo Horstmann Foundation, which finances and directs the Let Children Have Home home, where the girl was taken in.
In a country like Ethiopia, with one of the largest orphan populations in the world, caused, among other factors, by the AIDS epidemic, the work of this orphanage is fundamental for the future of the 33 children it welcomes. The most populous state in the Horn of Africa is ravaged by famine, migration, war crimes and human rights violations. As stated by the president of the foundation, Ana Sendagorta, the situation of children in Ethiopia is especially painful. “One in six children does not reach the age of six and one in two suffers from malnutrition. In addition, 48% of the families have an orphan in their bosom ”, Sendagorta details. In addition, the extraordinary numbers of orphans are compounded by very low school enrollment rates and persistent malnutrition.
Most of the boys who pass through Let Children Have Home leave the center to begin their university training, a stage in which they receive the support of the foundation to complete their studies. Currently, the entity finances six university students and a recent graduate in Nursing.
Hanna Batu would not have overcome adversity without Sister Nieves’ stubbornness. It was this Salesian missionary who decided to take her to ‘Black Lyon’, the reference public hospital in the capital, where she was admitted. However, there they forgot about the minor, no one was feeding her or taking care of her. In this situation, again the intervention of the nun was proverbial for Hannu when making a crucial decision for the life of the child. He transferred her to a Catholic hospital in another region of Ethiopia, where she would receive better care. She was hospitalized in that health center for two weeks, but Hanna Batu’s delicate health was still hanging by a thread. The weight that he gained immediately he lost due to his heart problem.
Concerned about her life, the nun asked for help in Spain and thus came into contact with the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid and the Madrid ophthalmologist Ana Sendagorta. The specialist was working at the Ramón y Cajal when she received a letter from Sister Nieves asking for help for Hanna, a girl from Ethiopia whose name was the same as her.
Weeks in ICU
The ophthalmologist, president of the Pablo Horstmann Foundation, processed the request to the cardiology department of her hospital and, thanks to this effort, Hanna was able to travel to Spain with only three years to be operated on for her heart disease. During the surgery, which lasted more than six hours, he suffered two cardiac arrests. Afterward, she spent more than three weeks in the ICU and nine months recovering at the home of a foster family.
Back in Ethiopia, Hanna began living in the ‘Let Children Have Home’ home in the city of Meki. The orphanage was founded by the Salesian missionaries to offer shelter to orphaned or abandoned children. When everything seemed on track, complications again haunted the sick girl. This time, the foster home began to run into financial problems. And again the intervention of the nun could not be more timely. The nun went to Ana Sendagorta for help, and the doctor was far from indifferent. Since then Hanna has been able to lead a fairly normal life, although she cannot exert herself physically. Now the girl needs to undergo surgery again.
Hanna has undergone surgery in Spain and during the surgery, which lasted more than six hours, she suffered two cardiac arrests
Hanna Batu likes to sing and spends a lot of time with her little brothers, whom she cares for like an older sister. He is in the first year of secondary school at the Catholic school in Meki. She is the seed of what currently constitutes a comprehensive project sponsored by the foundation: a reference maternal and child clinic in the region, a home-home, a school scholarship program for external orphaned children, a nursery, and savings groups. for single women in vulnerable situations. In 2022 the initiative will be expanded with the opening of an ophthalmology clinic. The organization has a scholarship program with 350 beneficiaries, of which 115 are girls.