Samaritan’s Purse – Children’s Heart Project Gives Hope to Youngster
This week, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee is helping a 10-year-old who has traveled far for a lifesaving procedure. Christian Chavez has a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. If the defect is not surgically corrected, it would dramatically shorten his lifespan. The surgery was not available to him in Honduras, but thanks to the kindness of strangers, it is available in Nashville.
“Christian has a hole in his heart which needs to be closed, and he also has an obstruction from his heart into his lungs, and that requires open heart surgery to fix the defect,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Karla Christian.
Christian’s mother, Maria Chavez, could not afford the surgery in Honduras, but Vanderbilt Children’s hospital teamed with a charity group to bring Christian to Nashville for the procedure.
“Very happy because her son finally will be able to have a surgery that will give him a better life,” said Chavez through a translator.
The surgery will happen on Wednesday. Dr. Christian will perform the operation.
“Christian is the same age as my daughter, and Christian’s mother is the same age as I am, which is special,” said Dr. Christian.
After the surgery, Christian will rest for a few days, and then return to Honduras with a new heart, and new possibilities.
“He wants to run more and play more soccer,” said Christian through a translator.
Christian and his mother have been staying with a host family in the days leading up to the surgery. Doctors said the prognosis is good, and Wednesday’s procedure is expected to go well. He should be able to return home and live a full and productive life. The Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project helped coordinate Christian’s trip and surgery.