UPDATE AS OF 04/06/2009:
Luis Amado Boiton will be returning home to Guatemala on April 9th. Unfortunately and despite more than four intense hours of effort, the arrhythmia problems he had were much more complicated than had been hoped. To have addressed them all would have been very risky, given the fragile condition of other areas of his heart. Thus, he's been spared major cardiac surgery for now. Next year he'll be back once more and at that time may finally undergo the serious cardiac surgery, including valve replacement, that he needs. At that time the doctors will take care of the arrhythmia issue, too. The donations from your Rotarians paid for Luis' travel and ticket expenses as well as for a year's supply of the special heart medications he takes.
You may also recall that we're in the process of helping organize a one- week medical mission to Nicaragua in early November. At this early stage, it looks like we still need a pediatrician and anesthesiologist. Do you know someone like this who might be interested in going?
Thank you so much! Please feel free to put a link to our webside on your Barrington (noon) Rotary Club webpage: www.htc-il.org
Thanks again and happy Easter time!
UPDATE AS OF 03/20/2009:
Happy Spring! (almost) You may recall our current Healing the Children case is Luis, from Guatemala, who has been here for about three weeks, while various cardiac tests have been performed. The good news is that he has been able to avoid surgery - at least of the open-heart kind - for another year. By the way, he has a heart condition called "Shone's Syndrome" and eventually will definitely need multiple valve replacements. However, the longer that he can delay this serious procedure, the better. So we'll be revisiting this specific issue when we bring him back in another year.
The bad news is that the cardiac testing ALSO revealed that he suffers from arrhythmia - the same condition that Yvan, from Peru had last year! Thus, he has been scheduled to have the arrhythmia problem resolved on March 30th at Good Shepherd Hospital by the same cardiac specialist who treated Yvan. I'll give you an update afterwards. If all goes well, he'll return to Guatemala in early April. Below is a picture I took of Luis shortly before his cardiac testing. Without the support of generous, compassionate people like those in the Barrington (noon) Rotary Club and Good Shepherd Hospital, Luis' future would be bleak, indeed. Thank you.
Yvan Amado Boiton, age 16, has arrived here from Guatemala. He has some serious, but not yet life-threatening, heart problems and will ultimately need major cardiac surgery. For the past year and a half, he has made two trips here. Both have confirmed the seriousness of his heart condition.
Yet he's been able to avoid surgery so far and in the meantime has built his cardiac muscles up so that they are much stronger than when we first met him. This will pay dividends for him when that cardiac surgery does take place. Yvan also has a condition called "dextrocardia" - his heart is the RIGHT side of his chest, as well as "situs inversus" - his internal organs are also reversed! This is pretty fascinating to the cardiac surgeons at Good Shepherd Hospital. To have both conditions is rare. Anyhow, he has an appointment on Tuesday, March 3rd, at 1PM for some heart tests which will tell us if he can delay surgery one more year or not. Thus, he'll return to Guatemala soon - or not so soon. I'll keep you advised. Know, however, that your generous contribution to Healing the Children is part of this young man's story and will be part of his eventual return to perfect health. Thank you again.