"You fell while riding your bike? That's awesome!"

Remember this little boy?

Last February, I met Nassir and his father, who agreed to help me make a video sharing their surgery-search. It was my first time to do something like this and, as I'm sure you can imagine, it was a highly emotional experience.

Nassir's father drove all over Iraq looking for a solution to his son's heart problem. Many could tell him that his son was going to die, yet none could do anything to help. It was, as he described it, "a bad dream." His boy couldn't even run, play soccer, or ride a bike.

A photo of little Nassir 6 months after his lifesaving heart surgery in Najaf, Iraq.

Then, just a few days ago I rounded a hospital corner and Nassir and his father were standing there; they had come back for a check-up. After exchanging formalities, Nassir grinned and stuck his elbow in my face.

"He hurt his arm riding his bike!" his father said, smiling.

"That's awesome!" I practically shouted back.

A photo of Nassir showing off his scrape from falling while riding his bike.

After we parted ways last February, Nassir went home, started racing other kids, and finally began getting the right kinds of hurts: scrapes and bruises, not a malformed heart or a pried-open chest.

A photo of Nassir's father showing off his son's surgery video on his cell phone.

They also showed me that they received the video we'd made together, and dad explained that he keeps it on his cell phone and shows anyone who will watch—"I tell them what you all did for me and my boy."

I had several other things planned for that morning, but I couldn't help dropping it all and sitting with Nassir's father, re-watching that video on his phone, and listening as the cardiologist gave Nassir a clean bill of health. It was beautiful.

You and the rest of the Coalition made all this happen, and I hope you know how grateful Nassir, his father, and I are to you for that. You helped bring them out of their bad dream; you made it possible for us to celebrate scrapes!


Our Partners:
Living Light InternationalInternational Children's Heart Foundation

About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
"You fell while riding your bike? That's awesome!"
"You fell while riding your bike? That's awesome!"
Choose hope, bravery, and peace with me by supporting @preemptivelove