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Dennis Quaid got a surprise when a baby whose life he saved over a decade ago showed up on his charity fund raising stage as a bubbly teenager.

Overcome with emotion, he recalls, “I just broke down like a baby.” He’d brought baby Elka from Honduras to New Orleans where the International Hospital for Children (IHC) created an esophagus for her, and she was subsequently adopted by an American family.

No stranger to saving children’s lives, Quaid has worked with the charity for around 20 years. “We go down to Central America and identify children who need medical attention or surgeries that they can’t get in their country and bring them back to the United States for treatment.”

They also provide help in villages devoid of medical attention. “I went to Belize and we built and opened a clinic there. It is really gratifying to do because I see where the money is going and how it is helping these little kids – the child who needs help is standing right there in front of me.”

President and founder of IHC, Mayer J. Heiman, is impressed by Quaid’s dedication: “He carries sick children, loads trucks, moves supplies, and helps us transport kids. He is 100% hands-on. That’s very uncommon. He has a gift with children and treats every single one of them with TLC.”

Quaid’s annual golf fundraiser, the Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend, also benefits children’s charities: the Austin Children’s Shelter, Any Baby Can, and the Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.

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