The inspiration for the Entoto Foundation comes from the case of a young Ethiopian, Matthewos Kebede. As a young boy, Matthewos suffered an illness that left his heart severely damaged. For years Matthewos’ family sought help but their financial resources were limited and there were no medical facilities in Ethiopia that could help him.
With his health rapidly deteriorating, Matthewos’ brother approached several of Ethiopia’s top athletes who routinely travel the world competing. One of these athletes, Belay Wolasha, began working with Rich Jayne of Elite Racing Television to find a hospital that could treat Matthewos. There were many obstacles. Matthewos would need a visa to another country, no easy matter for a young Ethiopian. And although several American surgeons had volunteered their services, the hospital costs were prohibitive. Meanwhile, Matthewos was becoming so weak that his chances of having a successful surgery were declining.
After months of searching, Dr. Krishna Kumar, a highly respected cardiologist at AIMS Hospital in Kerala, India offered to help. At Dr. Kumar’s request, Matthewos was granted a visa by the Indian Embassy. With fear that he could not survive the flight to India, a blood transfusion was hastily arranged and Matthewos finally began his journey.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
San Diego, California
WHERE WE WORK
Today, years later, Matthewos is healthy and doing well in Addis Ababa. He has a strong handshake and a flight of stairs no longer leaves him exhausted and gasping for air. His future is promising. His surgery washad been difficult, but AIMS surgeon, Dr. Satya Prasad, was able to had skillfully replaced two of Matthewos’ heart valves and repaired a third. This first-class and life-saving medical care cost less than $4,500.
There are many more young Ethiopians such as Matthewos who deserve a chance at a productive and rewarding life. Working together, we can help them on their way.
Rising to an altitude of over 10,000 feet on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Mount Entoto is the ultimate training ground for Ethiopia’s great distance runners. Numerous Olympic medals and world championships have been earned in the thin air of Mount Entoto’s rugged trails.