Andrew Gardour is a partner with WaterStep in Liberia. Andrew decided to visit WaterStep in the United States and has been staying with us for 3 weeks. While Andrew was here he attended a hand pump repair training, helped create future plans for partners in Africa and met the WaterStep team. However once Andrew arrived the WaterStep team realized that there was more to this visit than we thought.
Andrew had pain in his eye for about a year before he came to America. Andrew had noticed some pain in his eye and had it checked out while he was in the United States previously. At the check up he learned that he had a hole in his retina and that was the reason he was feeling the pain. Andrew returned to Liberia having had no treatment “I didn’t know how costly it would be, I didn’t have the means.” said Andrew.
3 weeks ago, Andrew returned to WaterStep head quarters in Louisville, Kentucky. During this visit Andrew had mentioned to WaterStep in passing that his eye was still affecting him. Not knowing the severity Andrew came to USA for training and a visit. He did not know that while he was here he would receive a surgery that would change his life forever.
With Andrews well being in mind WaterStep decided to have his eye checked out again, that is when they learned that Andrew would need surgery. With his eye consistently shrinking if Andrew had gone back to Liberia without help his eye would have caused an infection and put Andrews Life in danger. With WaterStep supporting him he went into surgery on a Friday, with the hope that they could stop the shrinking of the eye and help him restore some of his sight.
On Monday June 12, Andrew went in for his final check up. He received news that he had regained some sight in his eye and the hole in the retina had been repaired. The doctors said that Andrew was healing at an extraordinarily fast rate. “when I came here I did not know that WaterStep would be helping me through this, I was very surprised.” Said Gardour. “we are a family I don’t feel like I’m in a different place WaterStep accepted me as my own brother or sister would have,” … “They [WaterStep] really are a worldwide family.”
Now that Andrew has had his surgery and is healing ahead of schedule he has returned back to Liberia to continue working on his project. “it really is a miracle, this visit has opened doors for me,” … “that is my prayer right now, WaterStep opened doors for me and I pray that they continue doing that around the world.
Andrew’s project reaches around 2,000 people in Monrovia, Liberia. Through the dedication and donations of the WaterStep community including funding for the operation, hotel stays, after care appointments etc. WaterStep and our community was able to make sure that those people in Liberia would continue to have safe water. Our community works together to restore and maintain providing Safe lives through safe water.