His personal experience with a congenital heart defect has prompted John Youngblood to try to help provide lifesaving surgery for Iraqi children facing challenges such as he did.
John, a senior psychology major from Matthews, N.C., recently met Jeremy Courtney, founder and executive director of Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), an organization whose mission is to provide “lifesaving heart surgeries for Iraqi children in pursuit of peace between communities at odds.”
In conversations with Mr. Courtney, John learned that PLC was begun in Iraq to provide medical care for children born with serious heart conditions. “PLC decided to train doctors to go to Iraq and provide the lifesaving surgery there,” he said. “It costs about $690 per patient to provide that surgery.”
Bryan’s director of faith and mission, Ben Norquist, approached John about heading the project “because he knew about my background,” John said. John was born with a heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition that must be treated by surgery and medication.
“Coming from that background, when Ben came to me and asked about partnering with PLC, I agreed,” John said. “We’re trying to raise $2,000 to provide surgeries for three children. If we raise more, we can help more children. PLC will make it possible for us to meet the children we help after their surgery by video.”
Student-led efforts to collect money on campus began Monday, October 15, and a number of fund-raising activities are being considered.