During their recovery, the boys formed an unlikely friendship with FC Dallas defender Atiba Harris, who came to visit them at the hospital and at home.

By Homa Bash (NBC5 DFW) |

Twin boys from Ethiopia who came to North Texas for life-changing back surgeries got the chance to kick around soccer balls with FC Dallas players Tuesday (Feb. 21) morning.

Markos and Tamirat Bogale, 17, landed in America in early December 2016.

But that was before North Texas doctors gave them the medical help they needed.

Dr. Ted Belanger, a spine surgeon with the Texas Back Institute, met Tamirat Bogale and Markos Bogale during a medical pilgrimage to Ethiopia last year. Texas Back then teamed up with Medical City Plano to provide the twins care free of charge.

The twins underwent back surgery just days before Christmas.

During their recovery, the boys formed an unlikely friendship with FC Dallas defender Atiba Harris, who came to visit them at the hospital and at home.

“It was kind of bittersweet, you know. Sad to see them going through what they were going through with the spinal issues, but happy to see them smiling at the same time,” Harris said.

On Tuesday (Feb. 21), the twins laced up brand-new cleats and joined FC Dallas players during practice.

Standing tall, they wore custom jerseys that players signed afterwards.

“They never take those jerseys off,” Atiba Harris said, laughing.

Continue reading this story on NBC5 Dalls-Fort Worth
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