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HomeZharkova, Maria

Six-Year-Old Maria Has a Heart Defect.
Heart Surgery Can Save Her Life. Please Help.



Maria is a six-year-old girl with a life-threatening congenital heart defect. Endovascular surgery can save her life. The full cost of the operation is $62,473. Dr. Sean Levchuck at Saint Francis Hospital will perform the surgery for free, but the cost of airfare, visas, living expenses and support for the family is $4,565. Russian Gift of Life USA’s Moscow partner the children’s charity Rusfond has funded the family’s flight (Moscow – New York – Moscow) for $2,085.

Russian Gift of Life, USA is raising the funds needed for Maria's heart surgery and travel expenses from Russia.

Maria has a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), a condition in which a blood vessel fails to close normally after birth. As a result, she has abnormal blood flow between the aorta and pulmonary artery, two major blood vessels that surround the heart. If the PDA is not closed, Maria risks heart failure, bleeding in the lungs, problems with lung development, or endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart). Maria is from the Lipetsk Region of Russia. She loves mermaids and princesses.

Maria's defect can be treated without the need for open-heart surgery. Dr. Sean Levchuck, Chairman of Pediatric Cardiology at Saint Francis Hospital, will be able to correct the girl's heart condition so she can live like other girls her age.



Maria's life-saving heart surgery was 
successfully performed on December 18, 2013.

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