Monday, May 12, 2014

Mongolian girl to receive life saving surgery in New Orleans


A three year old girl arrives in New Orleans from Mongolia, for a life saving medical procedure not available in her home country. A group of volunteers on the North Shore are caring for the child, who will soon undergo surgery at Children's Hospital.

You'd never know looking at little Suvda's face that she is very ill. Stephanie Berault, Executive Director of the Louisiana Chapter of HeartGift, explains, "Suvda's been diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. It's a heart defect that she was born with."

The defect causes low oxygenation of the blood. Living in a country where the heart surgery she needs isn't available, Suvda's family didn't know what to do. Her aunt, who traveled with her to Louis Armstrong International, explains through an interpreter, "We don't know when she dies and we don't know how long she lives."

An international organization that identifies children with congenital heart defects, called Samaritan's Purse, helped connect Suvda to HeartGift. The Louisiana Chapter of the non-profit decided to bring the little girl to New Orleans, to be operated on at Children's Hospital. Donors are paying for the surgery.

"It's very amazing to find out that all those expenses and uncountable numbers of the finances are covered," said Suvda's aunt.

Even more amazing, says Suvda's aunt, the generosity being bestowed upon them by members of the Journey Fellowship Church. About 100 people will help feed, house and take care of the duo and their interpreter for the month while they'll be in town.

Pastor Tanya Camper says, "We were just so excited, we were like let's do this thing. Let's make a difference for this little girl."

Camper says the church is used to helping others through mission trips but this experience, meeting Suvda, and bringing her to New Orleans, is so much more meaningful. "We're thinking that we're touching them but in the process we're the ones whose lives really get changed," Camper said.

Suvda's young life will also be changed in just a few short weeks, after she receives the surgery that her family hopes will give her a new start.

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