Berenice was born with a congenital heart problem, which her mother detected soon after birth. At two weeks of age, this was confirmed by Berenice’s pediatrician. When Berenice was six months old, a medical team organized by the Friends of Barnabas Foundation attempted a heart catheterization, which was unsuccessful. At that point, Lori Codova, R.N. contacted Esperanza in hopes we could bring her to Boston for treatment.
Esperanza’s first contact was with Ken Warner, M.D., and the folks at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Warner had successfully operated on two of our other heart patients and has our complete trust. He requested all of Berenice’s medical reports and needed to review them with his committee. Fortunately, this was a patient they felt they could operate on, and improve her medical prognosis.
Once the medical staff gave their approval, my next contact was with the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation to apply for financial assistance. Ms. Teri Carlson took immediate interest in the case and was in touch with Tufts for their cost estimate.
Our application was approved by RTMAF and then the process on the Honduran end began…applying for a passport, medical visa etc. Letters were written by RTMAF, Tufts, Esperanza and the Ruth Paz Foundation to the U.S. Embassy in order to obtain a visa. Everything was approved and Berenice was heading to Boston with Lori Cordova.
The first attempt to repair Berenice’s heart was another heart catheterization performed by Michael deMoor, M.D. After seven hours in the O.R. he had to finally give up his attempt at inserting the catheter, the opening was just too tiny.
The next step was to have open heart surgery where Ken Warner,M.D. would have the opportunity of addressing Berenice’s problems with pulmonart and tricuspid stenosis. Thankfully, this was succesful and although Berenice will always live with heart disease, her opportunity to live a “normal” life expectancy, has vastly improved.
We are so grateful to so many people and organizations for affording Berenice “the gift of life.”