In August 2016, Memar Ayalew was suddenly blasted from his aunt and uncle’s Silver Spring apartment. A natural gas explosion and devastating fire ripped through the Flower Branch apartments, killing seven people, injuring more than 30 and displacing 80 families.

Memar suffered a deep cut on his back and serious injuries to his left knee. Worse, his aunt and uncle died in the blast.

“I thought I was going to die. I was praying to God,” Memar recounted after he awoke in pain and with a breathing tube.

While most of his wounds began to heal, Memar sought help for his knee injury from Adventist HealthCare and orthopedic surgeon Christopher Magee, MD.

Dr. Magee first prescribed physical therapy for Memar at Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation to address issues with his torn ligament. Through the therapy, Memar was able to walk again. However, for Memar to reach full mobility, Dr. Magee determined a laparoscopic joint surgery at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center in Takoma Park was needed.

“I have seen an amazing recovery after surgery,” Memar said. “It’s like I have a brand-new leg.”

Memar truly appreciates the care — including both the therapy and surgery — that he received free of charge and is humbled by the outpouring of community support. “I am so grateful to everyone,” he said.

Adventist HealthCare is the largest provider of charity care and community benefit in Montgomery County. Help us care for those in need.