Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A parent’s love for their 5-year-old son has taken them half way across the world in search of a second chance.
Five-year-old Omar Hassan-Ahmed was born with problems in his urinary system. These problems led to the failure of his kidneys. Since Egypt has no kidney donor program, his family head to the United States.
WCCO-TV shows how one Minnesota hospital and the help of generous strangers are giving Omar a fighting chance.
Omar is like most 5 year old’s. He’s good at numbers, asks a lot of questions and has trouble sitting still.
“He asks about everything he sees — why this Papa happen, why this, I want to be like this,” Omar’s father Hesham Hassan said.
There’s just a couple differences. First, he’s extraordinarily thoughtful.
“I told him pray our God that he heal you, so I’m listening to him … he saying, ‘Oh my God, help all people.’ Not just himself,” Hassan said.
Secondly, Omar’s undergone more than most adults.
The Mayo Clinic first answered Hesham Hassan’s call for help six months ago. In the last three months, Omar’s family has transferred to the U of M Amplatz Ronald McDonald House. Omar goes to the hospital for dialysis every other day, sitting for hours at a time.
The family’s raised $120,000 based strictly on donations, but they need $90,000 more before Omar can receive a transplant.
“It’s challenging and hard. Two faces: hard and a lot of times, I am crying but nobody see me and other times, it’s challenging because this is my son’s life,” Hassan said.
The Hassans say Omar’s clock is ticking. The longer their 5-year-old is on dialysis, the harder it is for his system to take, causing potential problems with his heart.
“I will not leave America unless my son be very good, this is my challenge … and I will do it,” Hassan said.
As for who will donate the kidney, Omar already has a few options. There are already seven matching donors who’ve contacted the family through their website.