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The team at Bloom Hospital had another early start this morning in anticipation of a long day of healing hearts.

Under the guidance of Dr. Kevin Shannon from UCLA Medical Center, the team was prepared for a day devoted to nurturing young hearts, a task filled with difficulty yet deeply fulfilling. Every child they encountered bore not only a heart ailment but also hopes and ambitions yearning to break free from the constraints of sickness.

Gift of Life International is using the donations we receive to change the lives of these children.

We could not have saved any of these children without the help of our global network of partners, including Fundacion Latidos de Esperanza, Regalo de Vida El Salvador, and HeartGift.

Zoe’s Melody of Courage

Zoe Abigail is 7 years old. Her family has lived in fear because of Zoe's heart condition. Today, that all changes.

Zoe Abigail is 7 years old. Her family has lived in fear because of Zoe’s heart condition. Today, that all changes.

Sweet, Zoe Abigail was the first case today. Zoe is a seven year old only child. It was one year ago that she began to have episodes of tachycardia.

Her whole family has been heavily affected by her heart condition.

They live in constant fear as they never know when her episodes will happen–they all worry and get scared when her heart starts to race.

We all knew Zoe was a fighter from the start because of her love for running, swimming, bike riding, and karate.

She is excited to have the procedure to heal her heart today so she will no longer have to live in fear, as well as not have so many limitations with what she can do physically.

 

 

Patient Updates: Daniela, Mercy, & Genesis

14 year old Daniela Alexandra is recovering well after surgery with Dr. Shannon's team.

14 year old Daniela Alexandra is recovering well after surgery with Dr. Shannon’s team.

13 years old Mercy with her mother who travelled all the way from Honduras.

13 years old Mercy with her mother who travelled all the way from Honduras.

Following the first case today, Dr. Kevin Shannon evaluated the three patients who were treated yesterday, Daniela, Mercy, and Genesis. They were all doing great and were very happy when they were told they could go home with healthy hearts.

Dr. Shannon pictured with patient Daniela after her surgery (left), as well as patient Mercy and her mother following surgery (left).

Patient Update: Ariana 

Ariana’s is scheduled for another ablation.

Ariana’s is scheduled for another ablation.

Ariana’s heart started to race again at 5:00 a.m. this morning, which means she needs another ablation. Dr. Shannon and his team will prioritize getting her back into the cath lab tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, her rapid heartbeats are being managed by medication in the hospital.

Dr. Shannon also evaluated 3 more patients who were referred to the hospital today by local Salvadorian cardiologists.

Since these cases were not urgent and we have more patients than can now be treated in one week, Dr. Shannon explained how their conditions could be managed by medication until he and his team return to El Salvador next year.

Dimas’ Journey of Resilience

Dimas Jareth is 10 years old and has Wolfe Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW). He travelled from Honduras to El Salvador to have his heart healed this week.Dimas Jareth is ten years old and has Wolfe Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW). He traveled all the way from Honduras to El Salvador to have his heart healed this week. This type of specialized procedure is not available in Honduras and there are no Electrophysiology teams who travel there to help children with WPW or SVT.

 

Dimas is a good student. He wants to be a teacher when he finishes school. His mom stays home to care for him in fear that he may have an episode of tachycardia. She feels she needs to be there for him.

 

Dimas likes to paint, draw, and play soccer. He is excited that he will be able to do all these things without having to worry about his next episode of tachycardia.

Josselyn’s Story of Hope

Josselyn Hidalgo was wheeled into the cath lab this afternoon by Brenda Small from Gift of Life International…also known as Mama Brenda to Josselyn. She is a fighter for sure.

Josselyn Hidalgo was wheeled into the cath lab this afternoon by Brenda Small from Gift of Life International…also known as Mama Brenda to Josselyn. She is a fighter for sure.

Josselyn Hidalgo was wheeled into the cath lab this afternoon by Brenda Small from Gift of Life International, also known as Mama Brenda to Josselyn. She is a fighter for sure. Josselyn was introduced to Brenda and Gift of Life when she was just 3 years old.

She has undergone 3 very complex heart surgeries and was one of many ambassadors for El Salvador in 2010 when she traveled to Los Angeles for her 2nd and 3rd surgeries. Josselyn lives with many additional health issues and yet remains positive and happy.

Dr. Tiffany Williams (Anesthesiologist) and Rich Nagel (EP Technician) prepare Josselyn for her procedure.

Dr. Tiffany Williams (Anesthesiologist) and Rich Nagel (EP Technician) prepare Josselyn for her procedure.

While nervous about today’s procedure, she is also looking forward to one less worry when it comes to her heart. The team led by Dr. Kevin Shannon worked tirelessly and meticulously for 7 hours this afternoon to ensure Josselyn’s heart was healed. At 8:00 pm, they completed the successful procedure!

 

 

 

 

Three Hearts Healed Today, Four More Progress to Recovery

The stories of Josselyn, Dimas, and Zoe exemplify resilience and hope, and the strength of the human spirit.

While in recovery, Ariana, Daniela, Mercy, and Genesis embody the enduring strength and resilience that inspires us, teaching us the profound impact of perseverance and hope.

They serve as a poignant reminder of the profound influence of tailored medical care and the worldwide cooperation facilitating it.

As these youthful spirits recover, their aspirations soar, fostered by the unwavering commitment of those who envision a tomorrow in which every child can thrive, love boundlessly, and pursue their dreams unhindered by sickness.

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