GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, FEBRUARY 17, 2012: Executive Director Joseph Occhipinti announced that U.S. CONSUL GENERAL Francisco Fernandez in Guayaquil, Ecuador approved a humanitarian visa for 16 year old
Gladys Marivel Pomavilla to enter the United States in order to remove a life threatening bullet that is lodged in her head.
NPDF OFFICIALS traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador on February 11, 2012 in order to convince the American Consulate to issue an emergency medical visa for the teenager. The appointment was expedited through the assistance of the Resident Agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The plight of Gladys Maribel Pomavilla came to the attention of the NPDF Executive Director by Congresswoman Blanca Ortiz who was assigned to the Ecuadorian Consulate in Newark. The child was accidentally shot in 2009 by her 9 year old brother and the bullet which is still lodged in head and has caused her blindness.
As a result, the case was referred to the “Vision For and From Children” foundation, which is affiliated with the New York Eye & Eye Infirmary. This non-profit eye foundation was established by 12 year old Lillian Pravda who herself underwent eye surgery to restore her eyesight. Through Ms. Pravda’s efforts, Dr. Campolatarro, a renowned eye surgeon agreed to provide this Ecuadorian teenager with any and all services involved in her
care free of charge.
On February 15, 2012, NPDF Officials traveled by car through the Andes Mountains wherein they had a private conference with Ecuadoran Governor Humberto Cordero Ortiz who gave them a hero’s welcome and commended their humanitarian efforts.
On February 19, 2012, NPDF Officials will be arriving at JFK Airport with Gladys Pomavilla and her father, Jose Ramon Pomavilla via Aero Gal Flight 2K0700, which is expected to arrive 9:30 PM.
On February 20, 2012, Gladys Pomavilla will undergo a medical evaluation by Dr. Brian Campolattaro to determine if surgery is feasible to remove the bullet and help restore her eyesight.
The Operation Kids program, a congressionally recognized child safety initiative of the National Police Defense Foundation, is credited for arranging life saving operations for critically ill children worldwide. The program demonstrates law enforcements commitment to protect our children from criminal elements and life
The NPDF funded the cost of air transportaton, lodging and related visa expenses for the child while in Ecuador and the United States. Gladys Pomavilla lives in poverty along with her parents, eight siblings and is supported by her father who earns $375 per month. The NPDF has created a medical fund for the child and tax deductible donations can be sent to the address below or online at http://www.npdf.org/admin.html or by calling
Doctors try to remove bullet from Ecuadorian teen’s head | Video | 7online