Dominican Republic teenager unexpectedly has birth defect repaired

Monday July 30, 2007 11:13:00 PM

 Eddy with his surgical team

Eddy Lopez
Age 16
July 30, 2007
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Hospital Infantil, Dr. Arturo Grullon

(Interview and translation by Rafael Torres, Ashley Long, and Josh Rubin)

Eddy Lopez is happy to be on his way to being well for the first time, "Before the operation I was sad because I could not do many of the things that my friends could do. I'm so thankful to God and to the ICHF team because, without their help, none of this would have been possible. My parents could not pay for this [operation] by themselves."

Eddy lives with his parents, Mariana Del Carmen Torrez and Antonio Lopez, in San Jose De Las Matas, about 45 minutes from Santiago.  He came to the hospital with a fever and was treated with antibiotics. At the hospital, Eddy's parents were told about the ICHF program. They learned that Eddy had a heart murmur soon after his birth, but nothing could be done for the boy at the time.

The physicians at Hospital Infantil diagnosed Eddy with endocarditis and a possible VSD (entricular septal defect). Dr. Jennifer Glatz, a cardiologist with the ICHF medical team, confirmed the diagnosis and recommended him for ICHF surgery. Eddy was short of breath and pale. The doctors also discovered that there was vegetation (growth on the heart valve) of considerable size that needed to be removed, so Eddy was added to the surgical list for this trip.

On July 27th, 2007, Dr. Humberto Rodriguez, along with other members of the ICHF medical team and local medical staff, operated on Eddy. His VSD was patched and the vegetation was successfully removed.

Eddy recovering from surgeryNow in recovery, Eddy is ready to be back to his favorite pastimes - riding his bike and playing baseball.  Mariana and Antonio are hoping that Eddy can now lead a completely normal life, just like his friends and be able to go to university one day to study.

"I don't have words to convey my tremendous appreciation for what the ICHF medical team has done for my son. The first thing we will do when we return home is to go to church and thank God for all the help he has received," declared the relieved and very happy mother.