Last year Love Them All received a phone call from one of the doctors at the government maternity hospital in Erbil. A small baby, only 3 days old showing low oxygen saturation was very sick with a suspected heart problem and needed examination right away.
It was a holiday and many of the doctors were off duty. Dr. Aso was out of town but after a quick phone call he left everything and returned to the hospital to meet Lara who had been transferred by ambulance to Sulaymaniyah. After performing an echo on Lara it was confirmed that she had a serious heart problem called d-TGA.
It’s a complex issue which requires advanced open heart surgery among other things to solve. Many children born all around the world each year with d-TGA have the privilege of early detection, skilled surgeons and advanced facilities. In Iraqi Kurdistan however, access to these things are not easy.
Dr. Aso concluded that Lara would need surgery immediately. Several survey centers around the world would be capable but Lara was not stable enough to wait a long time for a visa or fly on a plane.
Amazingly, with the help of friends, Love Them All was able to get special permission for a passport to be issued even though all the government offices were closed. Within a few days Lara was on her way to a neighbouring country for open heart surgery at a trusted facility.
The surgery was a success, however Lara had to fight a life threatening infection that lasted for a few weeks. A second surgery was performed to repair the damage to her heart caused by the infection. After 3 months away she finally got to return home and reunite with her sister.
Love Them All realises that the challenges for families and for individuals affected by CHD doesn’t stop at interventional care. Continued monitoring and follow up is vitally important for anyone with a heart condition and Love Them All makes follow up an equal priority. Love Them All continues to follow up with Lara’s family and heart doctor, making sure obstacles for continued care don’t get in the way. In Lara’s case this requires keeping a schedule of taking medical examinations of her heart and keeping updated medical reports.
Early on in her recovery it was discovered that Lara was having an allergic reaction causing a distressing rash. With excellent care from Dr. Areen, Lara’s local doctor, her condition was treated and she was back to normal.
This week Love Them All had the honour of providing the transportation and the funding for her to see her heart specialist, Dr. Aso who performed her latest checkup. The family was so happy when Dr. Aso said that her heart is now perfect and that she won’t need to travel back all the way to Sulaymaniyah from Erbil for an echo for the next 6 months. Love Them All was also able to provide Lara wich much needed multivitamins to help her little heart and body grow strong.