African teen on LI for heart surgery

African teen on LI for heart surgery

Simon Correa

For years, Ambrus Correa felt exhausted every time he played his favorite sport, soccer, in his homeland of Gambia in Africa.

He would wheeze and feel weak.

Eventually doctors discovered what was ailing him: he had a hole in his heart. But the medical facilities to treat him were not available in Gambia.

That is when the Fresh Meadows-based Gift of Life International organization stepped in to try to save the 14-year old.

The group transported him and his father to St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, where doctors last week performed special surgery to effectively plug the hole.

Now Ambrus and his father are about to spend their first Thanksgiving in the United States with much to be thankful for.

“I want to thank every one of you,” Simon Correa, 56, told the team that operated on his son as they gathered at a news conference at the hospital Tuesday.

Then he could not go on. He buried his face in his hands as he sobbed in joy and relief.

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