Save A Child from Heart Disease
Please Help Save Sasha.
Sasha is fourteen years old. She was born with heart disease.
Sasha had a heart defect called partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage. In this defect, some of the veins from the lungs, carrying the oxygenated blood, return to the wrong side of the circulation - meaning the blood has to flow around the lungs a second time, creating a problem called pulmonary over circulation, which in time can lead to a disease called pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary over-circulation usually affects exercise tolerance and puts children at risk of frequent respiratory infections. This defect is usually detected and treated in infancy in countries and regions with well-developed cardiac services.
Although complex to operate on, initially the corrective operation is easily taught. Fortunately, very few children with this problem will need any further surgery; most can expect to live a normal life. Sasha was lucky because although this variant is complex in its anatomy and needed the assistance of the Novick team to perform the corrective surgery, so far there had not been any serious effects on Sasha’s life quality.
Sasha is seen pictured after discharge from the ICU just one day after her surgery. She is holding a picture of her heart that is colored to show the normal anatomy, the anatomy of her heart before and after the operation, and labelling in Russian. The William Novick Global Cardiac Alliance team, equipped with 3 fluent Russian speakers and 1 learner, routinely provided these pictures as a teaching aid to local professionals, and as a gift for the families to keep.
Sasha was walking and eating the following day after her surgery. She and her adoptive mother were delighted at the outcome of the surgery. Sasha says she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
Gift of Life, Inc. and Russian Gift of Life USA are helping to fund medical training missions to Sasha's hometown of Voronezh. The first mission took place in November 2013.