Artur is was born a fighter.
Artur was born on the 1st of September in Luhansk, the easternmost city of Ukraine. Luhansk has been under the control of the separatist rebel group since 2014, and is known as “Luhansk People’s Republic.” This city was nearly destroyed by the war in 2014 and many public services are difficult to obtain, including quality care at hospitals.
When Artur was 5 days old, his mother noticed he was breathing very fast and turning blue. She took him to the hospital in Luhansk but the doctors were unable to give a definite diagnosis and sent him home. Weeks continued and Artur’s mother became more concerned with her baby’s blue color. Again she went to the hospital and after several tests, the doctor thought he noticed something wrong with Artur’s heart. Finally the doctor in Luhansk called the Kharkiv Cardiac Center. This doctor sent a photo of Artur’s chest x-ray to Kharkiv pediatric cardiac surgeon Olga Buchevna and she recommended Artur be transferred immediately to Kharkiv.
Upon his arrival at the hospital in Kharkiv, cardiologist Daria Kulikova performed a echocardiogram and diagnosed Artur with Transposition of the Great Arteries, plus a tiny ASD and tiny VSD. This heart defect usually must be repaired within two weeks of age, and Artur’s was very severe. He was not getting enough blood to his body or brain, with oxygen saturation levels barely 50%. His surgery would be complicated. Luckily our team arrived three days later and on October 9th, Artur received his life saving heart surgery. Kharkiv pediatric cardiac surgeon, Olga Buchevna, performed this surgery flawlessly with assistance from Cardiac Alliance surgeon Kathleen Fenton. Artur recovered quickly in the ICU and was drinking milk two days after surgery. His serious facial expressions proved to us that this little boy has a strong will to survive.
There are babies like Artur around the globe, fighting for their lives, waiting for medical assistance to mend their heart defects before it’s too late.
February is Heart Awareness Month and February 7th through Valentine’s Day is Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week.
The birth of a new baby is a joyous and challenging event and so is the birth of a new organization to help children with heart defects. We are asking for your help so we can help children around the world with heart disease. The ability to provide life-saving cardiac surgery to the children of developing countries, in their own country, is priceless. The stress of major heart surgery on the child and the family is greatly reduced when they are surrounded by those who can support them, speak their language, and practice their customs. While helpful to the child and family, providing surgery locally also gives us the opportunity to educate the local health care professionals in the care of their own children. Our ultimate goal in this strategy is to make these local programs self -sufficient.
This year we plan to work in 12 countries but there are many more countries that need our help.
Our intention with this appeal to you is to operate on an additional 25 children between the beginning of March and end of May. The average cost of providing life-saving surgery to each child is $2,000 and so we would like to raise a total of $ 50,000 this month. Any size donation will help us to purchase the medications, supplies and airline tickets needed to have our team give a child a future. We hope you will join our team and help us give these desperate children a chance for a bright future, without this chance they don’t have one.
Visit our donation page to make your valuable donation of any amount. See our story and where we where we are helping in the world.
Mrs. Josie Chelberg is an elderly lady who lives in a small downstairs room in her daughter’s home. She depends on her monthly social security check and must count her pennies to make ends meet. She and Dr. Kathleen Fenton’s mother, Jodie, are members of a small prayer group. At a recent meeting Mrs. Fenton requested the group pray for a “special intention” related to her daughter’s work. The following week Mrs. Chelberg, still praying for the unknown special intention, arrived at the meeting and handed Mrs. Fenton an envelope, saying it was for Kathleen. Written inside the flap was a simple note: “The money is for the children.” Enclosed was a $20 bill. She did not know until several weeks later that she had just made the very first donation to the Novick Cardiac Alliance.