What are you up to these days? 

I am a student in high school, grade 9. I am currently 20 years old and live in Bole, Addis Ababa, with my sister. We live in the house started by Rick Hodes, in which 10 people live together. We are happy to live here in Addis Ababa and go to school. My sister says she wants to become a doctor. We are originally from Gojam and our mother tongue is Agew.

 

What do you like to do for fun?
For fun, I like to read books, go online, and spend time with my friends. I also enjoy watching football and support Chelsea.

 

What are you hopes and goals for the future?
I want to go to a university and eventually become a businessman. The purpose of this will be so that I can make money and have the resources to help those in the community around me. This is my absolute goal - to help people.  Because I was helped, I know how important it is to reach out to others and support them.

 

How has the medical treatment you received helped change your life?  Is there anything you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Four years ago, I went to Ghana for back surgery.  I couldn’t be operated on due to lack of an anesthesiologist while all my friends could. Finally, I had successful surgery on June 12th, 2009, in Vancouver, Canada due to almighty of God. Thanks so much to my hero, Father Gary Segal and our tireless Dr. Rick Hodes and also Entoto Foundation that has always stood be the side of our dear Rick.

 

Before, I couldn’t even carry school bags and wear some kinds of clothes. Now I have more energy and I am much more comfortable. This allows me to be productive and study hard in school. My back used to hurt and was unpleasant with my wears, but now I have no pain. Dr. Rick Hodes “saved my life” and I am so thankful and feel incredibly blessed to have received the help that I did.

 

Do you think the existence of organizations like Entoto is important for Ethiopia? 
Yes, they are very important because they save a lot of people’s lives and allow them to live healthily and fulfill their dreams. Many people here need help, and the government does not have the resources to help everyone. So, organizations like Entoto are very important.

 

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for Entoto?
An orphanage would be good as there are many children in Ethiopia that need help. Another option would be to help old people support themselves, especially widows who cannot find work. Maybe provide some sort of service that helps them become self-sufficient.

 

Do you have any advice for other Entoto patients?
After they get help, they should of course be thankful, but they should also use the opportunity they’ve been given to go out and help other people. The best way to show your appreciation for what has been done for you is to reciprocate the deed. I really want to help change others people’s lives.

 

 Meet Tesfaye...Years Later