The Kindness Walk is an act of love, giving us hope that humanity is beyond physical ability. It was started by one blind man and in cooperation with a Bacolod pediatric cardiologist, a teenage orphan girl’s life was saved.
Starting the Kindness Walk
It all started when a kind-hearted blind American named Robert Smith wanted to help Jennefer Bautista–another blind from Bacolod City.
Little did they know that their original intention would eventually save a child’s life.
“Even a blind man can see that one act of kindness makes the world a better place.”~Robert Smith
Robert started the Kindness Walk in Long Beach, California, U.S.A. It’s a blind man’s journey to do intentional acts of kindness for people with disabilities and children with life threatening challenges.
Together with Rob Hartley and his friends, they got connected with Jennefer here in Bacolod City, Philippines.
Home of Hope Orphanage
One day, Jennefer visited the Home of Hope Orphanage in Brgy. Handumanan, Bacolod City. At the orphanage, she was introduced to Sofia Nalangay.
Sofia, who was abandoned by her parents when she was 2 years old, is now 14. It was Home of Hope that took care of her all these years.
But Sofia is no regular child. She had hearing impairment brought about by recurrent infections. This was addressed surgically.
Recently, however, the staff at the orphanage have noticed that she was easily fatigued. She often lost of consciousness as well. Her health was obviously deteriorating.
It was learned that Sofia was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease known as atrial septal defect secundum type. To address her heart condition, she needed a procedure called transcatheter closure.
Bacolod Pediatric Cardiologist at Work
Dr. Judah Gozar, the only pediatric interventional cardiologist in Bacolod City today, happens to be Jennefer’s friend. After being made aware of Sofia’s situation, Dr. Gozar quickly decided to do something. He waived his professional fee and convinced his team to do the same.
The only expense would be for the device that will be placed into Sofia’s heart. Plus, of course, the transportation to Manila. She also needed a clearance from the dentist that she is bacteria-free. This ensured that complications after the procedure will be avoided.
Enough funds were raised within seven days. It was truly by God’s grace and the effort of Robert and his wife. They were the first ones to give the seed money of US$250.00.
Home of Hope Executive Director Ritche Olivares and social worker Katrina Reyes acted fast. They immediately facilitated the dental clearance and admission of the patient to the Philippine General Hospital. The three of them flew to Manila to make sure that everything is in order.
Finally, Sophia’s heart defect was successfully closed on June 10, 2019, . It was the effort of Bacolod pediatric cardiologist Dr. Judah Gozar and his team.
The talented doctors included Dr. Dexter Cheng, Dr. Bee Jane Martinez, Dr. Louisa Go, Dr. Cathleen Lu, Dr. Ardynne Mallari, Dr. Mary Mae Yu, and Dr. Camille Ocampo. Furthermore, special acknowledgements goes to cath lab manager Paul Francisco.
These medical specialists willingly and generously shared their time and expertise in order to save a life.
The Philippine General Hospital medical assistance was crucial in the life saving effort on Sofia. Additionally, the PhilHealth helped settle the hospital bill. All of these people, offices, and elements worked together to save Sofia.
Dr. Gozar enthuses, “With all of God’s instruments, we were able to save a child’s life.”
Meanwhile, benefactor Robert Smith concludes it well. “Even a blind man can see that one act of kindness makes the world a better place. And the world begins in you.” Robert does not need eyes to be kind. He has the heart.
Indeed, the world is such a big place. But we can change it for good, starting with one person at a time. One act of kindness has a ripple effect that will reach the entire world.
The Gozar Clinic
Dr. Judah Gozar
Bacolod Pediatric Cardiologist
Room 205, 2nd floor, North Point Building, B.S. Aquino Drive, Bacolod City
(in front of Collegio San Agustin Bacolod)
Tel. No. (034) 453-1475 or 0933-817-7880
Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 11:00AM, 01:00 to 05:00PM
Saturday: 09:00AM to 12:00NN
Home of Hope Orphanage
Home of Hope, Inc.
Zone 1, Brgy. Handumanan
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines 6100
Tel. No. (034) 707-1045
FB page: HomeofHope