Free heart surgery for sex trafficking case worker

Free heart surgery for sex trafficking case worker

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by Amy Troy

kgw.com

Posted on December 15, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 2 at 5:06 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Indonesian woman who helps exploited children overseas received life-saving medical help in Oregon this month.   

Francesca "Chika" Salindeho called it "a miracle."  

"This is amazing, I'm so thankful for everything."

Salindeho lives in Indonesia and works for the Beaverton-based group Compassion First.    The non-profit group works with local governments and police to provide shelter for victims of child sex trafficking. 

Salindeho, 20, is a case worker.   She works  directly with girls rescued from the sex trafficking trade in Indonesia.   

A few months ago, Salindeho grew gravely ill. Her heart was failing.  Mike Mercer, President/CEO of Compassion First, said she wasn't getting adequate medical attention in Indonesia and he asked Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center for help.

In early December physicians and surgeons at Providence donated their time to perform Salindeho's life-saving heart surgery.  

Cardiologist Jeanne Phillips explained "I was just so grateful we could offer this." You can't help but think - of course this miracle happened because she has work left to do," she said.

Mercer said "we're very thankful for Providence's willingness to do this for us, thankful for the service of our senators, and everyone rushing to the ball on this."

State Senator Bruce Starr and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden helped secure a travel Visa for Salindeho.

Salindeho, will continue recovery from heart surgery at the home a local family.   She plans to return to her home and work in Indonesia in about six weeks.  

Not all her costs are paid for and Compassion First welcomes financial help for Salindeho.   For more information please visit www.compassionfirst.org

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