Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Lynda Hiponia, a physical therapist with Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation, helps fire survivor Memar Ayalew regain strength and mobility in his leg.

Explosion Survivor Gives Thanks for Compassionate Care at Adventist Hospital

Story by Adventist HealthCare Staff

Memar Ayalew, a doctoral student from Ethiopia, was visiting his family on Aug. 10, 2016 when a devastating explosion ripped through the Flower Branch Apartment complex in Silver Spring, Md.

The fire killed seven people and displaced at least 80 families from their homes. Two of the people killed were Memar’s aunt and uncle. Adventist HealthCare, based in Gaithersburg, Md., along with several other community organizations, came together to support some of the fire victims in need of medical care and other assistance.

Memar suffered extensive injuries and was knocked unconscious for 15 hours. He also incurred a deep cut on his back and serious injuries to his left leg that left him unable to walk.

Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation provided extensive, free physical therapy. Many of Memar’s injuries healed and he regained the ability to walk. However, orthopedic surgeon, Christopher Magee, MD determined that an arthroscopy –a laparoscopic joint surgery – would be necessary to fully repair the damage to Mema’s left knee. Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital, his surgeon and the anesthesiologist provided the surgery at no cost.

“I have seen an amazing recovery after surgery,” Memar said. “No doubt about it, it has helped me a lot. Now I have a brand new leg.”

Memar is very grateful to Washington Adventist Hospital and Adventist Rehabilitation for providing him with care free of charge and says that the outpouring of financial and emotional support he’s receiving completely changed his view of the United States.

Add new comment