Ugandan children get new lease on life at D.C. hospital

Paula Wolfson, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Twelve-year-old Darwin Wafoymungu could never do the simple things most boys his age could do.

But now, he’s a kid with a plan.

“I want to play,” Darwin says.

Darwin’s mom, Betty Acken, looks around his room at Children’s National Medical Center as if she’s landed in another world. They’ve traveled from a village in Uganda to Washington, D.C. where a group of strangers fixed her son’s heart.

Acken whispers to an interpreter and smiles.

“She feels so grateful and so happy about everything,” says the interpreter. “He is a miracle child and a miracle boy!”

Darwin is one of two Ugandan children currently at the D.C. hospital for treatment, part of a volunteer effort by doctors at Children’s to improve pediatric Samaritan’s Purse volunteer Marsha Duckwitz hosted the two families at her Sterling, Va. home during their month-long stay, and was a constant presence at the hospital.

“I feel honored just to be a pat of it,” Duckwitz says. “These guys are doing fantastic things … and it is just amazing to see these miracles happen.”

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