Babyheart Spotlight – Valeria

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Valeria Perez Palacios

DOB – 8/29/12

1 year, Female

TGA + S/P BT Shunt,            DOP 9/24/13 – Arterial Switch (the 5th arterial switch ever performed in Ecuador)

Mother – Gabriella Palacios

Father – Juan Carlos

From: Manta in the Providence of Manabi, a country-side village.

Traveled 5 hours to the hospital via bus

Valeria’s parents are very young and her mother is currently pregnant with their 2nd child. They have a cat at home that Valeria really likes.

They discovered their little girl had a heart defect right after she was born and their local doctors provided them with the diagnosis of TGA. They noticed that their daughter would struggle to breath and did not like to eat. She would grow tired and fussy easily. Her skin quickly started to turn a bluish tent, especially her fingers and toes. Once she turned 2 months old, they were informed by a local doctor that she needed surgery, but that they did not know how to perform it. They doctor told them that their little girl would not live long with her heart defect.

Someone from their hometown told them about ICHF.

They were very worried about her operation, but knew she had to have it. After the operation, her mother would stay with her overnight while her father would stay with her during the day. Although they are young, they are very loving and protective parents. They watched our team and asked questions, which most parents did not.

While in the ICU, like so many of the patients, Valeria came down with a severe case of phenomena and was in the ICU for the entire first week and did not leave until Monday. Our team believes this is because the ventilators on the beds are not cleaned on a regular basis, if at all. We cleaned the vents this trip. Our teams must always adapt to and quickly correct averse conditions.

Valeria looks so much better now. Her parents can tell a huge difference, they said she is less blue, is hungrier, breaths easier and is not tiring as easily. They are very grateful and thankful for our team and to know that we will continue to come and help other families like themselves. They knew that her operation was necessary for her to live and without our team, she would not have survived.

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