Maumee doctor, ISOH/IMPACT change life of Tanzanian girl - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Maumee doctor, ISOH/IMPACT change life of Tanzanian girl

Dr. Gladieux and Esther Dr. Gladieux and Esther
(Toledo News Now) -

ISOH/IMPACT donates supplies to areas in need after a disaster strikes, but that's not all. The non-profit organization also works to save the lives of children around the world.

Thanks to them, a young girl from Africa will receive a life-saving surgery.

Esther doesn't talk much, but she loves to smile and play. She couldn't do those things in Tanzania because she looks different.

Six months ago, 10-year-old Esther walked through her home village with her head down, but she still caught the eye of Maumee pediatrician Dr. Gary Gladieux.

"I walked up to her and started tickling her and playing with her," Dr. Gladieux said. "And I saw her smile and I noticed what was wrong."

Esther has a congenital jaw defect. She has a hard time speaking and eating, and only weighs 40 pounds.

"Over in Tanzania, apparently, children like this are shunned," Gladieux explained. "There are so many things here that I can't fix, but we can fix this if we bring her to the States."

It took six months and a lot of work from numerous groups, including ISOH/IMPACT, but Esther arrived here in mid May.

"Everybody has just came around and tried to love her and take care of her," said ISOH/IMPACT President Linda Green. "She's receiving a lot of love and care, and this brings hope to the people of Tanzania."

Esther will receive her surgery in July – for free.

"Without this surgery, she would probably die within a few years," Dr. Gladieux said. "She has been an outcast her entire life because of this, and now that it's going to be fixed, she's going to fit right in and we anticipate she will do great things with her life."

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