The Friends of Barnabas Foundation’s cardiac team is currently working at Cemesa Hospital in San Pedro Sula. A year ago they were first introduced to Berenice Miranda Garcia and tried to complete a heart catheterization. Unfortunately, the stenosis was too tight and it was unsuccessful. The team determined she would need to travel to the United States for life saving cardiac surgery.
Lori Cordova, R.N. contacted us and soon began the process of getting Berenice to Boston. We gratefully accepted the financial support from the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation and were once again placed in the wonderful care of the medical staff at Tufts Medical Center. Berenice’s heart was successfully repaired by Ken Warner, M.D.
Berenice, now 18 months, received encouraging news from F.O.B.F.’s team. Her heart is in stable condition and she is developing well. Berenice will continue to visit her cardiologist in San Pedro Sula and one day will require a valve replacement. Our thanks to all the individuals and organizations that have been a part of Berenice’s journey to health.
Berenice will be 15 months old on June 10th. She returned to Honduras nearly two months ago (following open heart surgery), and is growing well both physically and developmentally. Berenice is now walking and so much more active with her improved heart. After returning home, she was hospitalized with dengue fever, but thankfully has recovered. Looking forward to seeing “Baby Bee” in 7 days!
It’s been a few days since I last wrote…Bee decided to spend St. Patrick’s Day in her own way…watching the doctors run to her room and having the ventilator re-inserted and a chest tube added to drain the fluid in her lungs. This wasn’t what the rest of us had in mind…perhaps she was getting me back because I didn’t have a green bow for her hair!
Bee remained on the ventilator for the next 3 days and it was removed yesterday at noon. She enjoyed the afternoon by getting out of her crib and being held and played with. Little by little, IV’s are being removed…although still enough wires to get tangled in and try to pull out! Yesterday she was back to a popsicle and today she’s advanced to scrambled eggs and jello.
They continue to do chest xrays and actually culturing her now to see if she has some sort of infection. Hopefully, it’s simply a cold. On my way down to the gift shop to get her a balloon…she loved playing with the one for her birthday! Astrid has made a beautiful get well card and it is hanging in her room. Hopefully, we will continue on the up swing!
Baby Bee is breathing on her own. The team removed her from the ventilator about an hour ago. Actually nice to see her fiestiness reappear, and she was back to kicking and shaking a rattle. Her voice is still quite raspy, and her distinctive voice (a.k.a. high-pitched shriek) hasn’t shown itself, but it will come. Right now, she is resting comfortably and the docs are happy with her continued progress. She’s sporting one of her signature bows and has a doll by her side. Thanks to all the wonderful staff at Tufts and to friends and family for all your support.
Am thrilled to report that Berenice’s surgery was successful and she’s moved to the P.I.C.U.! Dr. Warner was able to remove/patch her pulmonary valve and that seemed to stop the tricuspid valve from leaking. Her enlarged heart has already shown signs that it is decreasing in size, and it will continue to get smaller. They plan to keep her heavily sedated, and she will remain on a ventilator over night while her lungs become accustomed to the increased blood flow. There is much rejoicing being done both here and in Honduras! Thanks to each and every one of you for all your love and support…it is so very appreciated.
Last Wednesday (March 14th) baby Berenice spent 7 hours in the cath lab. Unfortunately, the doctors were unable to complete the catheterization. Yesterday, Berenice was re-admitted to the hospital and this morning she is undergoing open heart surgery to repair her pulmonary and tricuspid valves. It has been nearly two hours since she entered the OR, and we have many more hours to wait. Thankfully, Berenice’s aunt Digna and her cousin Gabriel have arrived from Pennsylvania and are waiting with me. We just spoke with Berenice’s mother, who is back home in La Lima waiting for news. We are comforted knowing there are people from many faiths and cultures, praying here and in Honduras…Baby B is surrounded by much love!
Berenice turned one year old on March 10. 2011. This was the day she was discharged from Tufts, following the heart catheterization. Astrid (6 years old) had baked and decorated her cake and was so excited for the party. However, Berenice was too tired and fell asleep early, so we postponed the party for the following day.
The girls were all dressed up in their party dresses, hats, blowers and balloons. Berenice enjoyed the songs and birthday cake. We felt privileged to be part of her celebration. Our thoughts were with her family in Honduras, and with Ray Tye’s family here in the Boston area. I believe it’s a miracle that Berenice was born on the day Ray passed away, and am sure there is a bond between them. May they both stay blessed.
It’s been six months since we first heard about Berenice Elizabeth and her need for cardiac surgery. I have worked with Lori Cordova, RN on other medical cases, and she wrote asking for help for this infant she had met during one of her cardiac brigades in San Pedro Sula. A week from today, Lori will arrive with nine month old Berenice. We are anxiously awaiting their arrival and finally meeting each other in person.
We are thankful to Lori who will be flying from her home in Virginia to Honduras on Thursday and helping Berenice’s family through the tearful goodbye; reassuring them that she will be well cared for and return in two months, with a repaired heart. It’s impossible to comprehend what her parents will be going through emotionally, and we’re grateful for their faith in us…strangers, living in another country. Once again, we realize how fortunate we are to be living in Boston, a medical mecca, and the generosity we receive from Ken Warner, MD and the folks at Tufts Medical Center, as well as the financial support from the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation. Without their help, this wouldn’t be possible.