1 year 8 month from San Francisco de Macoris a town about 2 hours outside Santiago
Was diagnosed with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot at age 15 days.One month after she was born the family heard about the ICHF visit and was given great hope because of this and strength to deal with the situation.
The heart defect caused her to be blue in her lips and nails and whenever she cried she lost her breath, mother saw this many times and though she was about to stop breathing and collapse and would have to “jump” her to get her to breathe. This kind of attack is common with this heart defect, and called a “hypercyanoytic spell” – frequently children turn very blue – precipitated by crying – but caused by a spasm of the artery taking blood to the lungs – the blueness is very distressing , even painful for the child, and makes them cry more – during which time they do not breathe as well and become bluer. – eventually collapse can happen if they are not calmed out of the spell. Aside for medicine and cardiac surgery – this is one type of heart defect where a mothers love can truly save a life.
Brothers and sisters:
Family lives with Maternal Grandmother (the “Abuella”) , 3 years old sister, 9 year old sister and 5 year old sister.
Hopes for the future:
“I want my child to recover and I want her to experience life . I also want the other children who were operated on to get better”
Do the family have anything to say to the team at Arturo Grullon and the volunteers and sponsors who made the surgery possible.
(Holding back Tears) “Keep on living . May God give you a long and fruitful life.. they gave my baby a new life… you know (crying) . God bless them always.. ”
Gabriella Sosa, operated wednesday 29th April, left ICU thursday 30th April.
Gabriella will need a further surgery is 6 moths to a year – which will be her final operation – but as the ICHF team vists Arturo Grullon 4 times a year this will be facilitated at the optimal time
Interview by Miguel Echevarria
5th year intern medical student at Arturo Grullon Hospital for Ninos
Story and photos by Frank Molloy