BOLIVIA — A young Bolivian mother and her daughter suffered from the same fatal heart condition. With only years to live, they received lifesaving surgery through the Children’s Heart Project run by Samaritan’s Purse.
Fatima Ramos Cardozo – Children’s Heart Project Recipient:
It is very difficult to learn your child is very sick. Especially when she’s so young, just beginning to live her life. It’s very difficult.
Dr. Furman – Samaritan’s Purse:
This is a mother. She was 14 years old when she got pregnant. And she decided, OK, she won’t have an abortion. The baby had the atrial septal defect. Got her to one of our Samaritan’s Purse cardiac doctors and found, okay, it needs to be operated on.
Joy Gruber – Samaritan’s Purse:
Maria, the little two year old, was brought to our screening in Bolivia. She was an ideal candidate for our program. During that conversation, the mom just happened to mention, I was born with a hole in my heart. And sure enough, she came back and she did have a large heart defect as well. She was under the age of 18, still met our criteria as being a child who could receive heart surgery.
When she got 10 years old, 11 years old, she wasn’t able to do the things that her friends could do. She just didn’t have the oxygen in her blood, and they started making fun of her.
They said horrible things, things I don’t want to remember and I just can’t.
Pura Cardozo Mendoza:
I felt awful that I was not able to do anything for my daughter. The reality was that we aware not able to afford an operation. It was so painful to see my daughter like that.
Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil – Clinical Director / Chief Surgeon – Health City:
Both mother and child had the exactly same problem, a big hole in the heart. And it’s surprisingly, I had never seen like this. I had to operate the child and mother on the same day.
I was afraid something bad might happen and I wouldn’t be able to see my baby.
Yeah, she’s coming here now. OK? The big hole was there. It’s closed. And the heart is very good. We did the echocardiogram. Perfect.
But when I was able to see my baby. it made my heart so happy.
After the surgery, the lung pressure is normal. That means she will have a normal life, normal life expectancy. Otherwise, it would have been much, much shorter.
I asked Dr. Binoy what would happen if you hadn’t closed it. And he said within the next two to three years, she would be dead.
Definitely a God thing, that he brought them both to our screening.
When the doctor told me that I would be able to live life like a normal person with no more heart problems, I felt extremely happy. I could live a full life being with my daughter, and not worrying that I would only have a year or two left to live.
It’s so beautiful as a mother to be able to see your child be healed. Now, I can see the difference that now she can do everything normal and do it easily. She can run normally without getting exhausted. Yes, oh she’s like a new Maria!
In Children’s Heart Project, we’re not only focusing on the physical heart and healing, but the ultimate goal is to share the love of Christ with them.
I have had so much spiritual support from learning of Jesus and the Bible studies that we have been attending. I’ve had so much help. I have given my life to the Lord. I feel happy and thankful that my daughter will not have to live like I had to. It’s like a weight has been lifted from me. Now she’ll be able to run and play as if nothing had ever happened.
So the mother saved the baby, and the baby saved the mother. And both the mother and the grandmother accepted Christ this week. This, I think, has been the best example of what Children’s Heart Project was all about. It all rests in the Lord’s hands. I think He’s using Samaritan’s Purse to do that well.
I have been given a new opportunity at life as well as a new opportunity to have a spiritual life.
The truth is that it exists, the power of God exists. i want to give thanks to Him, always to Him first. First to Him and everyone else who has helped us, who has made it possible for us to come and stay here. I would just like to say thank you, a thousand thank you’s.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
CONTACT: Kaitlyn Lahm, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Global News Alliance, Healed Hearts Together in Bolivia