Estephany Arrayo Santiago

Estephany Arrayo Santiago

aged 7, the youngest of the children

Lives in the Moca, in the Cibao Region 1 hour away from Santiago. First diagnosed when she was 1 year 5 months old. Operated on 22nd April 2009 for an ASD – a hole between the two collecting chambers of the heart. This defect causes too much blood to flow to the lungs, making the heart have to work harder to supply blood to the body – and if untreated results in increasing breathlessness, frequent respiratory infections, inability to participate in normal activities and risk of death, stroke or cardiac infection or problems in pregnancy in early adulthood .

First knew they were going to have surgery 15 days before. Specific problems caused by the heart defect – was well and had not yet had any complications resulting from her heart defect, but would be limited in physical activity as she grew older. Stephany lives with her parents, 14 year old brother and 10 year old sister. When asked about hobbies and activities – Stephany said she REALLY loves to study. Stephany wants to become a model when she grows up,and her mother just wants a healthy daughter (and probably grandchildren).

When asked if she had anything to say to the team at Artutro Grullon, the ICHF volunteers and Sponsors who made the surgery possible. Thank you for giving me back a healthy daughter, I will never forget what you have done for our family.

Operated April 21, walked out of ICU April 22, Home April 24

Interview by Miguel Echevarria
5th year intern medical student at Arturo Grullon Hospital for Ninos

Story and photos by Frank Molloy