São Paulo Rotarians help American family in need

  • Carol Buzbee didn’t know a soul in São Paulo, Brazil, when she arrived by medevac flight with her daughter, stricken by an unknown illness while volunteering with an international charity.
  • Buzbee had no Brazilian currency, no visa, no luggage — and she couldn’t speak a word of Portuguese.
  • After 48 hours alone in the hospital by her daughter Samantha’s bedside, she was stunned when she received a telephone call from Rotarian Victor M. Esteves de Moraes, of the Rotary Club of São Paulo, offering to help her in any way he could.
  • “Victor came to the hospital that night and handed me Brazilian money. He took my dirty clothes home to his house to be washed,” recalls Carol.
  • Samantha had been volunteering with Amigos de las Americas in Paraguay when she became ill. Local doctors were initially unable to diagnose her illness, and her condition worsened.
  • Shortly after her mother was flown in from their home in Mantua, Ohio, USA, Samantha was transferred to Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo.
  • Moraes and his wife and children welcomed Carol into their home when the hospital told her she could no longer spend the night in her daughter’s room.
  • “Once I knew someone needed help and it was in my reach to do it, I had to do it. Period,” says Moraes.
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