Noel was born in Sept. 2001 with a congenital heart disease, which was first diagnosed when he was one and a half years old. His family brought him to see a cardiac specialist in August 2005 and it was determined that he would need a heart valve replacement. Four year old Noel was introduced to Emily Collins in November 2005 and told he needed to go the United States for a life saving heart operation. At that time, Emily solicitated the help of The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation, which provided the financial assistance and found the pediatric cardiac surgeon and hospital to have it performed. Noel underwent a cardiac catheterization in April 2006 and open heart surgery at Tufts Medical Center the following month. The surgery was successful, and his heart conditions continues to be monitored.
Through his travels back and forth to the US, as well as attending bilingual schools in Comayagua, Noel has become fluent in English. This has allowed Noel to serve as a translator for Esperanza, assisting in communication with patients and their families. Additionally, Noel supports Esperanza by coordinating the distribution of donations within the community.
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I had the pleasure of taking Noel home to honduras after his last check up in Boston. He is the most adorable and warm young man. I only hope the medical treatment he received here will give him a long and healthy life.
I hope programs like yours continue to thrive, so children like Noel are given a chance in life with the odds that they face in their native environment.