US Army major brings Afghan boy to NYC for critical stomach surgery

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SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A 7-year-old Afghan boy born with his bladder outside of his body awoke from corrective surgery just in time to say goodbye to the U.S. Army officer who helped make it possible.

The Scranton Times-Tribune reported Saturday ( ) that Bilal Sharif had the surgery Thursday at a New York medical center, but was still sleeping Friday when Maj. Glenn Battschinger came to see him before leaving for a deployment in Africa.

Afghan soldier

Battschinger says the operation was tremendous success, a happy ending to the 15 months he spent setting up the surgery and flying to the United States with the boy.

Battschinger says his job as a civil affairs officer is to rebuild stability in parts of the world affected by war. He says that includes providing opportunities for children like Bilal.

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