NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Most of the time, headline stories on the nightly world news have little relevance to the calm of the Okanogan River Valley.
But one major story last week had local residents sitting up when a familiar name turned an open-heart surgery into international news.
Born and raised in Tonasket, Dr. Karla Christian (nee Godwin), was in the spotlight for an open-heart surgery performed pro bono on a two-year-old girl from Iraq.
American soldiers discovered the sick little girl, Amenah Al-Bayati, in the city of Haditha. According to Vanderbilt Medical Center’s journal, the Reporter, Amenah’s family told soldiers they feared she would not live much longer. The soldiers and friends raised money online and arranged to fly her to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville for surgery. The operation went from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Nashville on Feb. 11