Friday, November 17, 2006


One of the most rewarding parts of being in Haiti is seeing Haitian Hearts patients. To the right is 5-year-old Jenny. This dynamic little girl had her heart repaired at Cleveland Clinic this past spring. Jenny had a congenital defect called a patent ductus arteriosus. This is a hole that we all have when we are in utero, which allows blood to bypass the lungs, since our mother is breathing for us. After birth, it normally closes within 24 hours and when it doesn’t, intervention is needed.

The good news is that this defect can be repaired in a cath lab without open heart surgery. A interventional cardiologist threads a coil through the child’s femoral vein and it closes the opening. Jenny came through her procedure with flying colors, spending only one night in the hospital. Now she is back in Haiti with her mom. Her pastor, who originally brought Jenny to John because he knew she had a heart problem, recently brought her to the clinic where John works. Joltin' Jenny looks great!

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