Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dikembe Mutombo Helps Build Hospital in Republic of Congo

Dikembe Mutombo, right, the Houston Rockets center, has donated $15 million to build and open a hospital in the Congo. The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, named after his late mother, will open on Sept. 2. The 300-bed hospital will provide health care to people in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mutombo was born. The $29 million hospital and research center will include a pediatric wing, surgery suites and a women's center.

Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson convinced the 7-foot-2 Mutombo to switch his career path from medicine. Mutombo wanted to become a doctor and return to the Congo to practice. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and five African dialects. His goal is to get 100,000 people to contribute $10 a month on his website to support the hospital and research. (AP News, CBS Sports, ABC News-picture courtesy Houston Rockets)

Update: Jan 23, 2007 - - President Bush recognized Mutombo's Hospital project during his 2007 State of the Union.

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