Away from violence Afghanistan children have fun, get medical help

Away from violence Afghanistan children have fun, get medical help

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by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 9:18 AM

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- They come from miles away.  They’ve  left war and poverty.  And they will return.

They are children from Afghanistan, who are in Lake Norman with Solace for the Children, a humanitarian group that coordinates and funds health care for children around the globe.

Sandy Tabor Gray and her husband Jim have been part of Solace for the Children since 2001. 

Next to photos of their own family in their Mooresville home are more pictures of their life’s work, children they’ve helped.  Many are from Afghanistan.

This summer they are hosting 12-year-old Wahed and 14-year-olds Atefah and Sher Jan. 

This is Sher Jan’s second trip to the Gray’s home.  He has alredy been treated for  club feet and a life threatening heart condition. 

Today his heart condition is much better and so are his feet.  But he still has some trouble walking and is in pain.  Doctors will spend the summer working to correct his health problems.

Wahed has trouble seeing.  He too is hoping doctors here can help him.

“It’ s a really good country.  It’s safe for us,” he says of the United States. Sher Jan interprets.

Atepha might need the most help.  Her head is swollen and no one knows what has caused the painful deformity.   She cannot see out of one eye.

Through Sher Jan, she told NBC Charlotte, “When I first got off the airplane I feel like so happy my eyes kept opening and I thought ‘What kind of a country is that?’”

All the children are passionate and hopeful.  Here for six weeks.  The Grays hope they return restored, but also with a new sense of what America really is.

“We focus on character traits like friendship, respect and trust for one another,” she says.

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