SAN ANTONIO -- A Kenyan boy who came to San Antonio to receive a life-saving heart procedure is returning home on Monday.
KENS 5 first introduced you to 5-year-old Hamza Mohamud in early October.
Hamza was born with a congenital heart defect. If left untreated, it can lead to complications including a shortened life expectancy. But through a non-profit organization called HeartGift, Hamza came to San Antonio to get surgery and fix his heart.
HeartGift provides heart surgeries for children all across the country. Through partnerships with University Hospital and the University Of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, HeartGift was able to provide the surgery for Hamza.
He got his surgery done mid-October and was released after three days.
"It's like a miracle. It's amazing to see his change. His diet has changed. His eating habits. His sleeping pattern has changed. He's even gaining weight. Yu can even see his cheek is now shiny," said Bashir Mohamud, Hamza's father.
"I'd like to thank everybody who contributed to the success of this surgery. Great thanks goes to the organization, the HeartGift, the hospital staff, goes to the family. Given us as much as they can and it's beyond our expectation," he added.
Hamza and his father were staying with a host family, the Brierty’s. Tim Brierty said during their few weeks together, they became very close with the Mohamud's.
"We were sensitive to their culture. So, we asked if there was a problem coming to our home as a Christian home, Bashir and Hamza being Muslim. He wrote a beautiful letter back saying that we all have one God and that two families could come together," said Brierty. "It doesn't matter what part of the world people come from. You come together when people are in need and we help each other. We love, we love both of them."
The Brierty's made sure Hamza and Bashir's experience was memorable.
During their nearly month stay in San Antonio, the family threw Hamza his 5th birthday party, took them to a Spurs game, the San Antonio Zoo, DoSeum, iFLY San Antonio and the River Walk river tour.
The Brierty's said they plan to go visit the Mohamud's in Kenya in the future.
(© 2016 KENS)