Utah Guardsman Helps Afghan Boy Get Heart Surgery

Utah Guardsman Helps Afghan Boy Get Heart Surgery

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah National Guard pilot is trying to help an 11-year-old boy from Afghanistan get lifesaving heart surgery.

Chief Warrant Officer Layne Pace met the boy, named Asedullah Ibrahim, when his West Jordan-based battalion delivered blankets and clothing to a remote Afghan town. The boy has a hole in his heart that his family was told would soon kill him.

Pace began a campaign to raise money and find a hospital that would donate medical services.

After plenty of pleas, the soldier got through.

Next week, the boy, his father and their interpreter are scheduled to arrive at Loma Lima hospital in Southern California for the surgery.

Still, there could be more trouble.

Stress, like a traveler might get traveling through Customs, could kill the boy.

Pace says he's hopeful the boy will make it through.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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