Friday, March 13, 2009

Heartfelt Help at MGHfC

MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) is no stranger to helping children and families in need – even those who travel from around the world for care.

Two-year-old Brigitte Flores from Panama was born with a heart condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot, which is not one but five congenital heart defects. Fortunately for Brigitte, the Gift of Life Foundation stepped in, funding her trip to Boston and putting her in the hands of Jeff Myers, MD, PhD, chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at MGHfC.

"Without treatment, Brigitte would likely not live beyond her twenties," says Myers. "It was imperative that she receive this surgery now." Brigitte's condition is not one of a kind. In fact, her twin sister in Panama is also coping with the same syndrome, and will be having surgery in Michigan this August.

In early February, Brigitte came to Boston with her mother, Yisel. They were hosted by Boston University's Sargent College Rotaract Club, which donated housing and raised funds to support their stay. Rotaract Club members also took turns staying overnight at the family’s apartment and spent time with Yisel and Brigitte during the day. Brigitte left MGHfC Feb. 16 following her surgery and recovery and will return to Panama very soon.

"We’ve taken a little girl and given her back to her mom with a full life expectancy and the ability to do all the great things every little girl should get to do," says Myers. "That always makes us feel really good."

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