Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A New Girl

Fastina was successfully operated on in Joliet, Illinois. After staying with us for a week in Haiti, Fastina, John, and I flew to St. Louis on Thursday, May 18. We spent the night there and then drove to Joliet the next day, where Fastina had some pre-op testing. Fastina was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, and we decided she would spend the weekend with us at home.

On the drive back to Peoria from Joliet, we noticed a familiar-looking grey car. We called a number and discovered we were following my cousin, Dr. Dennis Killian, who coordinated Fastina’s pre-op testing and was her cardiologist. We grabbed a bite to eat with Dennis and some of his friends that evening. We returned to Joliet on Monday and Fastina had surgery on Tuesday. John was in the OR and he said her left atrium was huge, courtesy of her diseased mitral valve, which Dr. Bryan Foy skillfully replaced.

Fastina recovered quickly and was discharged to the loving care of the Sisters who founded the hospital. She was hosted by them at their lovely, modern convent in Frankfort, Illinois; for Fastina, it was like having 40 grandmas. She talked to her mom regularly on the phone and had many visitors at the convent. She is currently continuing her recovery with a family in Peoria. Fastina has put on weight and grown since her heart surgery. Her host mom did some diagnostic testing and 13-year-old Fastina scored in the 6th grade level in math and the 4th grade level in reading English! With her health restored, she now has the ability to fulfill her potential.

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