Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao's involvement in the story of a Colombian teenager's heart transplant has been revealed to the wider world this afternoon, by the boy's mother.
Falcao was made aware of John Andrés Uyaban's plight by relatives back in his homeland and decided to help, posting a message on Facebook which read: “Help us get a new heart for John Andrés, a 17-year-old kid with all the desire to keep fighting."
The appeal for help worked and ten days later the news came through that Uyaban would receive the heart of a man from Medellin who died in an accident, with something positive coming from a truly awful situation.
Facebook appeal proves successful
Uyaban had the life-changing surgery last week and is now in the very early stages of what will be a long recovery in Northern Colombian, with the youngster's mother Sara Fernández thanking Falcao for using his considerable reach to highlight her son's harrowing plight.
Fernandez is quoted by The Guardian as telling Bogota-based news agency Efe: “I give thanks to God and Falcao – he’s related to some cousins of mine who talked first to his father [Radamel Garcia] seeking his help in this effort.
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“They’re going to perform another small surgery and we hope it’s not complicated. I always had that hope that Falcao would help us because he’s a public figure. Everyone listens to him and he’s also very humble and really believes in God.”
The Red Devils striker completed a feel-good story with a message of thanks to 12 million-plus Facebook followers, which translates as: "Thank you all for helping John Andres to get a new heart! The boy already had surgery and his new heart will give you a new life! Muchíssimas thanks."