Novak Djokovic is known as a man with a big heart. Not only has he achieved immense glory for Serbia, he has also contributed positively to his people whenever they have been in need.
In his most recent act of goodwill, Novak Djokovic displayed exceptional compassion and generosity to help a young Serbian girl plagued with a chronic disease.
Novak Djokovic arranged a special plane for young Sofija Markuljevic
Sofija is a little girl aged just one. She has been diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disorder known as the Werdnig–Hoffmann disease, which is the first stage of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This is one of the leading causes of death in infants worldwide, as the patient can't even sit due to wasting away of their muscles.
The treatment for disease costs upward of $2 million, and is predominantly available in the United States of America. And Sofija’s family, being from a humble background, struggled to find the resources for the treatment.
That is where Novak Djokovic and Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostic stepped in. They both donated undisclosed sums to help raise the necessary amount required for the treatment.
Novak Djokovic went a step further and even arranged a private plane for Sofija and her family. As per telegraph.rs, Djokovic did this so that Sofija could be taken to the hospital at the earliest.
With such an illness, the timing of the treatment is of great importance - as Novak Djokovic realized. His act of generosity helped the family bypass all COVID-19 related travel restrictions which are currently in place.
While Novak Djokovic wouldn't want to take any sort of credit for this gesture, it can be said that his selflessness has now given young Sofija a fighting chance to survive. The little girl’s family thanked both Kostic and Djokovic in the Instagram post that they uploaded, which is translated as below:
“We are especially grateful to Miodrag Kostić and his company, as well as Novak Đoković, who provided a private flight to America, because their help came as the crown of this action for a better life in our Sofija. Without their engagement, the organization of travel to America in the conditions of the corona virus pandemic would not have been so easily realized."
Novak Djokovic: The Good Samaritan
Novak Djokovic has faced a lot of criticism lately for hosting and organizing the Adria Tour, which led to four top players testing positive for COVID-19. To add to that, earlier in the year Djokovic also gave controversial statements about a potential vaccine for the virus, and then seemed sympathetic towards the claims of a pseudoscientist who believed that the ‘Bosnian Pyramids’ could cure COVID-19.
However, Novak Djokovic has also proven to be a good Samaritan on just as many occasions, if not more. He donated a generous sum of money - 5 million Serbian Dinars - to a Serbian town that had been ravaged by the virus. The 17-time Slam champion then proceeded to donate further resources to not only the rest of his nation but also to Italy and Spain - thus making him the first tennis player to provide help in three different countries.
Novak Djokovic’s foundation, meanwhile, has donated ventilators and monitors to various hospitals in Serbia. The Serb and his wife Jelena had also raised €1 million for the Serbian hospitals at the start of the pandemic.
Another donation, to the tune of $5.5 million, was pledged by the eight-time Australian Open champion towards the public health system and charities run by the Serbian Orthodox Church.Published 31 Jul 2020, 15:58 IST