The BabyHeart team recently returned from the first of four trips to Hospital Zambrano Hellion in Monterrey, Mexico with another successful mission and renewed partnerships. During this trip, 7 children received life-saving surgeries, and 8 children received diagnostic or interventional catheterizations.
Two heart warriors whose lives were changed during the trip were 12-year old Sergio, and 12-year old Ximena.
When we first saw Sergio, his lips were blue due to the lack of oxygen in his blood, and he was using a wheelchair because he did not have the energy to walk. Sergio came in for a diagnostic catheterization to gather additional data that was needed before a surgical plan could be established for him.
While performing the procedure, Dr. Breinholt and Dra Britton determined that they could partially improve Sergio’s condition by placing a stent in his Right Ventricular Outflow Tract that was extremely narrowed. This temporary procedure allowed more oxygen to travel to his lungs, and he came out of the procedure with pink lips!
The most rewarding sight was to see Sergio walk out of the hospital when it was time for him to be discharged. Later this year, after some time to focus on nutrition and gaining weight, he will be ready for a full surgical repair of his heart.
When Ximena was born, her parents were told she had a complex heart defect called single ventricle. Initially, the doctors told her family that there was nothing to do because Ximena was stable. However, over the years, she began to have less energy, headaches, and her lips and skin were becoming more and more blue.
When Ximena was 6 years old, she had to stop going to school because she became tired too easily from the activity. From that point on, her mother began to provide activities to her to keep her busy and learning. Ximena loves to read, color, and watch YouTube videos on cake making.
Ximena’s family was determined to find a solution to her problem. After many years of searching for a hospital who would treat her and living in fear that something might happen to her, they found Corazones Invencibles–a partnership between Hospital Zambrano Hellion, Fundacion Tec Salud, CardioChavitos, International Children’s Heart Foundation, DIF Nuevo Leon, Gift of Life International, and Rotary International that provides free surgery to children with congenital heart defects.
Ximena underwent a palliative procedure called the Glenn Procedure, and she immediately felt better! Her lips are less blue and she has much more energy than before. She will still require one more surgery to fully repair her heart, but in the meantime, she is looking forward to going back to school and living a more active life!
BabyHeart returns to Hospital Zambrano Hellion in May to continue the partnership with CardioChavitos, Fundacion Tec Salud and DIF Nuevo Leon, and looks forward to Gift of Life International and Rotary International joining the team as we strengthen and grow the program.
The goal for 2018 is to change the lives of 60 children through surgeries and catheterizations, and we can only accomplish this with your support. If you are interested in getting involved in this program as a volunteer or donor, please contact us! Together we can save more children in Mexico with CHD.