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May 20, 2014 2:12 AM by Sean Mooney

Ugandan boy arrives in Tucson for spinal surgery

TUCSON - In February of 2013 News 4 Tucson told the story of Little Lewis, a young boy from Uganda in desperate need of surgery on his spine. After more than a year of raising money to bring lewis to Tucson he is now another step closer to having the operation at a local hospital.

The effort to bring Little Lewis to Tucson was not an easy process. It included countless setbacks including an airport closing that delayed the boy's trip to the states by three days. That delay ended up costing the charity another $3,600 in charges for rescheduling the flights.

But all of the organizations involved, including African Children's Charities, never lost sight of their mission to bring Little Lewis here for the surgery he needs.
Lewis was found abandoned and left to die in a Ugandan cemetary three years ago. The boy had contracted TB and the disease had deformed his spine making it hard for him to walk and leaving him in constant pain. African Children's Charities is based here in Tucson and appealed to a local hospital that then agreed to do the surgery.

The next step was to raise enough money to bring the boy and his caretakers to Tucson. The effort took more than a year but now, after facing so many obstacles Little Lewis, who is now eight, finally touched down in Tucson. African Children's Charities Founder, Moe Mukiibi, who traveled with Lewis to Tucson, says getting the boy here was a great accomplishment and the committment of some very devoted people, "It's been three years we've been working on this", Mukiibi said, "and to see this coming to reality is just fascinating, we are very excited."

Little Lewis will stay at private homes over the next few weeks as he is prepared for the operation. His surgery is scheduled for the second week of June. The hospital involved wants to remain anonymous.

African Children's Charities is still raising money to cover costs. To get more information and to find out how you can help call Jay Murray at 520-797-0828.

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