The surgery was scheduled for August 16 and Dr. Gearhart drafted two more specialists who also agreed to operate for free: plastic surgeon, Dr. Rick Redett and general surgeon, Dr. Dylan Stewart.
I traveled to Columbus, Ohio to meet with Kovach and his wife, Branka.
I also traveled to Baltimore to meet with the public relations officials at Johns Hopkins and to find a home near the hospital where the boy and his family could stay.
I then went to Washington to meet with officials from the International Organization for Migration, who agreed to help the boy prepare for the journey.
But nothing could prepare me for what it would be like to meet the little boy in person, what it would be like to get to know him.
I was at the airport, waiting for them, the day the boy and his father arrived in the U.S.
I was in the operating room at Johns Hopkins on August 16, when the boy had his surgery.
And I was the first person to hold his hand in the recovery room, before his father was brought back to see him.
As the mother of two boys close to his age it was impossible for me not to think, what if this happened to one of my sons?
There were times when I felt like more of a humanitarian than a journalist. As a journalist, I'm required to be objective. To remain detached, to avoid becoming emotionally involved. But as a human being, how is that possible? In my 25-year career, I had never come so close to that line.
With the surgery now over and the boy safely back home in Bangladesh, I've had time to reflect on the events of the past year and a half.
One question gnaws at me.
With so many stories about people in need, what was it about this little boy's story that pushed Kovach to act?
He can't tell me exactly. As a writer and producer, I wish I knew.
I wish every story moved just one person to take a stand and make a difference in someone's life.