Community Foundation of New Jersey

A Life-Saving Journey

November 27, 2013

The Star-Ledger recently covered the story of a young Afghan boy, Muslam Hagigshah, who, thanks to the generosity of a New Jersey soldier and an Egyptian doctor, received a life-saving medical operation and now heads back to Afghanistan to “resume a childhood many never thought he could have.”

U.S. Army Maj. Glenn Battschinger of Mays Landing was stationed in Jalalabad with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion when he came across Muslam, who suffered from a rare condition in which his bladder formed outside his body.  Battschinger told the Star-Ledger in 2011 that “he knew he could not just walk away.  He reaced out to Healing the Children, a nonprofit group that links medically needy children from around the world with doctors who can help.”  Click here for full coverage from the Star-Ledger.

Muslam was brought to New Jersey where he received two five-hour surgeries at Saint Barnabas Medical Center to repair his abdominal wall and rebuild the muscles to provide bladder control.

Now healthy, he is headed back to Afghanistan thanks to the financial support of American Water, which made a gift through the Community Foundation of New Jersey to cover Muslam’s travel costs and construct two fresh-water wells near his home.  Battschinger is an employee of American Water Enterprises Military Military Services Group.  To read more about American Water’s work in Afghanistan, click here.

We’re thrilled to play a small role in Muslam’s life-changing journey and wish him well back at home!