A Family that distrusts their Healthcare System Found New Hope in ICHF…
Carlos Loor Briones
DOB – 7/15/1997
16 Years, Male
S/P Glenn, DOP 9/25/13 – Fontan, Re-Op on 9/25/13
Mother – Mrs. Briones
From: Portoviejo, a small town
Traveled 6 hours to the hospital via bus
They had a daughter and three sons, but sadly Carlos is the only surviving one. Carlos’ mother said that her other children came down with an illness and after she gave them medicine, they passed away. She believes that the medicine poisoned them. Carlos’ parents do not trust the healthcare system. His father did not want Carlos to receive medical treatment for his defect, instead his father believed that they should leave it up to the saints to cure him. Carlos’ mother had a very difficult pregnancy and her delivery was rough. She blames the doctors who delivered Carlos for his defect. When Carlos was 15 days old, his skin began to turn yellow. His mother took him to a doctor in Portoviejo where she was told that her son had a heart problem. The doctor could not give her a diagnosis, but he told her Carlos had multiple issues with his heart.
By the age of 3, Carlos was so weak from his defect, he could barely walk. His mother would have to carry him around because he would become exhausted and struggle to breathe if he walked for more than 3 minutes. His mother took Carlos to the local doctors for years, hoping they would eventually be able to do something for him, but terrified because she did not know how much longer he could live.
Eventually, Carlos’ mother decided to take him to a hospital in Guayaquil where she was told that Carlos needed more tests and echoes. His mother begged for money and eventually had enough to pay for his tests. She found a doctor but was told nothing could be done for her son. While at the same hospital where she was told there was no hope for her son, she heard about ICHF and their missions to another hospital in Guayaquil. She eventually contacted a medical student who assists with Babyheart missions, Renzo Cifuentes, who connected her with Zorayda’s foundation. who arranged an appointment for Carlos with ICHF Cardiologist, Dr. DiSessa. This was the first time that someone helped her. She said this was the first time she felt hope in years.
When they found out that our team would perform the operation, Carlos’ father did not want him to have it. Carlos told his dad he wanted to live and control his own life for once. He chose the operation and his father did not stay to see him. However, his dad did return later and watched over his son while he was asleep in the ICU.
He said he is feeling much better, (after his operation, Carlos kept bleeding and the team had to go in and reoperate on him to make it stop). His hands are pink for the first time and he feels stronger. When he gets home, he wants to take care of his mom the way she took care of him. He wants to go to school and become a professional, get a job, get married and have kids. If his kids have a heart defect, he will care for them like his mom took care of him. He wants to be the owner of his life and his actions. His mother cried by his side as he was being interviewed by ICHF communications specialist, Aspen Mueller. During this interview, Dr. DiSessa performed a post operation echo to see how Carlos’ heart was managing. Dr. DiSessa told Carlos’ mother that his heart looks fine and he should not need another operation. She grabbed Dr. DiSessa’s hands and told him “God helped you save my son, everything is in yours and God’s hands. Dr. DiSessa, your hands worked the will of God”.