A 12-year-old Afghan boy who lost his legs in a mortar attack last year is attending one of Kabul's best schools, thanks to a “Nightly News” viewer.
In November, “Nightly News” broadcast a story about rising civilian war casualties in the wake of a dwindling U.S. war operation in Afghanistan. Obaid was one of several children hospitalized for injuries inflicted by the Taliban.
Cindy Barrett, 67, a regular “Nightly” viewer, saw the report and wanted to make a difference.
“I had a very emotional response to it. And I think in part I connected with this boy because I have young grandsons and my grandchildren are healthy and strong and athletic,” Barrett said. “They’re growing up in a relatively safe and privileged environment and we have some of the best medical care available to us here. And the contrast was just too much for me to ignore, to see this child.”
So Barrett, who retired from the advertising business in 2009, donated a few thousand dollars -- and it changed Obaid’s life.
Her contribution paid for books, a school uniform and at least one year’s tuition at a private school in Kabul. He’s now one of the top students in his class and is learning English. His latest goal? To become a heart surgeon.
Watching him succeed and eventually attend medical school, would be “amazing,” Barrett said. She hopes that one day he’ll use prosthetics, and walk without crutches.
“I know that there are countless children who have injuries like Obaid and it's impossible to help all of them,” Barrett said. “But it's not impossible to help one of them. And that's why I'm glad I have this connection.”
Hear more from Barrett, below.