For Abid Kadric, a refugee of the war in Bosnia, his visit to America began with a small item in a newsletter and a doctor who wanted to help.
Not long ago, Annapolis orthopedic surgeon Allen Egloff was thumbing through the Orthopedics Overseas newsletter when he came across a small advertisement. Orthopedics Overseas was searching for doctors to provide pro bono treatment for patients in need of special care. Dr. Egloff offered his services.
Come Thursday morning, Dr. Egloff and the staff of Anne Arundel Medical Center will have an opportunity to offer some of that specialized care when Mr. Kadric arrives at the medical center for treatment of a gunshot wound received in fighting in the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Kadric, 39, was wounded in May in his left foot. He continues to suffer from an open fracture of the left heel, remains in great pain and must use "sticks" to walk, medical center spokeswoman Nancy Thornton said.
All treatment and care for Mr. Kadric will be free. The hospital does not know how long he will have to be hospitalized or treated, Ms. Thornton said.
"We won't know how much care he'll require until we evaluate him," she said. "We just don't know that much about him."
Mr. Kadric will arrive in Annapolis late tonight. He comes to the medical center through the International Organization for Migration, which has established a medical program for victims of conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The organization screens medical cases in Zagreb and identifies those with potential for pro bono treatment.
The organization's medical program focuses on providing specialized reconstructive treatment that is not available in many countries.
This will not be the first time the medical center or Dr. Egloff has participated in the organization's work. In 1989, the hospital treated Sufi Jehan, an Afghan freedom fighter.
Mr. Jehan was injured when a projectile crashed through his left knee, nearly severing his leg. It was the fourth time Mr. Jehan had been wounded while fighting against occupying troops of the former Soviet Union.
After his surgery, Mr. Kadric will stay with a Croatian-American family in the Annapolis area.
Other area residents and businesses also will be contributing to Mr. Kadric's recovery. Annapolis florist Flowers By James will donate flowers to decorate the hospital room and Signs By Tomorrow will donate a banner written in Croatian to welcome Mr. Kadric to Annapolis.
Anyone who speaks Croatian or is from the former Yugoslavia and would like to help may call the public relations office of the medical center at 267-1371.