1 year 3 month old boy who was diagnosed at 1 month and 20 days with a VSD, a hole in the heart.
Initially it was planned that Jorge would have surgery at age 2 years, but Dr Juan Ramirez saw that Jorge would need earlier intervention and told the family that an ICHF team would come and repair his hart at an earlier stage.
On investigation with the ICHF team it was discovered that Jorge had an additional,. more serious defect – a “window” (hole) connecting the two main arteries from the heart. This results in similar but more severe symptoms than that caused by the VSD, but puts children at an early age at higher risk of a severe and potentially life threatening lung disease called pulmonary hypertension. If the heart disease is treated early enough this disease will reverse – or not occur in the first place.
In conversation with Jorge’s mother we learned that although he had had difficulty breathing and seemed tired all the time – as this was their first child she had no way of knowing what “normal” was. At age 1 month and 20 days Jorge contracted pneumonia. He would stop breathing for long periods and turn blue, he was taken to hospital and it was at this time that the initial diagnosis of a VSD was made
Jorge is an only child and lives with mother and father
Jorge likes to watch cartoons ,like other children his age, walk with a walker – and loves to smile, break the kitchen cabinet and get into “trouble”.
The family’s hopes for the future are simply that he grow up as a healthy buy first and foremost. They want him to then grow up to be a man who serves God and is thankful for the second chance he is given. They would like him to be involved in some profession.
When asked if she had anything to say to the team at Artutro Grullon, the ICHF volunteers and Sponsors who made the surgery possible:
“Thankyou for the bottom of my heart. God Bless your hearts and minds. Thank you”
(at this point mother stopped talking mid sentence because she could not control her joy and happiness
Operation on Monday April 20, left ICU friday April 24..
Interview by Miguel Echevarria
5th year intern medical student at Arturo Grullon Hospital for Ninos
Story and photos by Frank Molloy