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Sergei Urgently Needs Open-Heart Surgery! Please Help!


Twenty-year-old Sergei Massaev has a congenital heart defect known as aortic valve stenosis. The valve between his heart’s left ventricle and the aorta is extremely narrow, making it difficult for his heart to do its job. At around age two, Sergei had some kind of heart procedure for an obstruction. However, the operation did not help and by age nine, Sergei was on the verge of death. His aortic valve was so narrowed his heart could barely supply his body with blood. Sergei came to the NYU Medical Center on the Gift of Life program and was operated by Dr. Stephen Colvin. Later, Sergei’s condition worsened and he had to return to New York for a second operation. This year, his condition became extremely poor and Sergei’s parents reached out again to the Gift of Life. Sergei is from Petrozavodsk.

"Sergei needs to have two valves in his heart replaced. He has a 70% chance of survival." Scott Schubach, MD Winthrop University Hospital


Sergei's father, Oleg, made the long journey from Russia with him.


Russian Gift of Life, USA raised some of the funds necessary for Sergei's surgery and travel expenses thanks to your generosity. Russian Gift of Life, USA is grateful to Winthrop Hospital for their extraordinarily generous donation of medical services. Without their generosity, Sergei would not be here today.

Sergei and Oleg are forever grateful to everyone at Winthrop Hospital and all the wonderful volunteers who were with them every step of the way.


Sergei was successfully operated at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York on October 22, 2010.


For footage of Sergei's father thanking the Gift of Life for saving his son's life a third time, please click here. For news footage of Sergei's recovery, please click here. For a Voice of America report about Sergei in Russian, please click here.


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