Sunday service at the Ethiopian Orthodox St. Michael Church in Garland is full of gratitude.
There's appreciation and amazement upon seeing a pair of twin brothers standing tall.
In early December, 16-year-old Markos and Tamrat Bogale arrived in North Texas from Ethiopia battling a severe case of scoliosis. The condition was so severe, Tamrat could not stand up straight. He had a 120 degree curvature in his spine.
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Through a partnership with the Texas Back Institute and Medical Center of Plano, both boys underwent life-changing surgery to correct the curvature of their spines.
It's a procedure that would have been impossible in their native country. It was offered free of charge by their North Texas medical team.
"When Markos and Tamrat first got here, Tamrat was about 5 inches shorter than Markos, and they're twin brothers," said Cheryl Zapata with Texas Back Institute. "Not long after the surgery we put them next to each other and Tamrat's like 'hey! I'm almost as tall as my brother'."
Zapata cared for the boys while they were in Texas.
Markos and Tamrat speak little English but their appreciation shows in their stance and their smiles.
"They're very humble and very kind and they really appreciate the generosity that's God given then but the gifts people have given them, it's just a beautiful thing to watch," said Zapata.
Tamrat must undergo one more surgery in February. Their doctors hope the brothers will be able to return to Ethiopia in the spring.