LONG before little Sanel was born, doctors informed her parents that if she survived birth, she would have serious health problems. From the very first day of her life, she needed surgery. Her parents, who lived in Abkhazia—a region that had declared independence from Georgia—were unable to find a surgeon who would operate on Sanel without administering blood.

The parents contacted the local Hospital Liaison Committee (HLC). * To their great relief, brothers on the HLC quickly found a cooperative surgeon in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. But Sanel’s mother had not yet fully recovered from the delivery and could not travel. So it was decided that Sanel’s grandmothers, both of whom were Witnesses, would take the baby girl to the hospital in Tbilisi.

The delicate operation was successful. Shortly afterward, the grandmothers wrote: “We stayed in the hospital for over 20 days. During that time, many Georgian brothers and sisters visited us and offered us help. Many expressed their sympathy. We had read about the love shown by our brotherhood, but now we have experienced it in a very personal way.”

^ par. 4 In Georgia, elders serving on HLCs have established contact with over 250 surgeons who agree to perform bloodless surgery.