As an infant, they heard a heart murmur.
But, after being examined at a local Libyan hospital, they cleared Marwa, saying she was perfectly healthy. But Marwa’s mother was never convinced.
With the eyes of a mother, she noticed how breathless Marwa became after short walks, how she turned blue when exercising. The family went in for another exam and found Marwa had a large VSD.
But then began the real challenge: finding surgery in a war-torn country after years of lost time.
The family looked abroad for surgery options, but as soon as doctors saw her pulmonary hypertension, they wouldn’t touch Marwa. Fellow Libyans in Tripoli refused, Egyptians refused, Jordanians refused. All said she was inoperable.
When they presented her to us, they thought she was hopeless, but they couldn’t stop trying.
Back in 2012, Marwa became the first double flap valve patch repair done in Libya when Dr. Novick and his team visited Benghazi. She did extremely well, has grown, and her follow up has been “perfectly unremarkable” according to Dr. Novick.
This week, we followed up with Marwa and got to hear how she’s doing (not to mention the sweets her mom made for us!). Her mother still pays close attention and is delighted at the change in her daughter.
This the kind of impact we’re having in Libya, one child at a time! February is Heart Month—help us continue breaking new ground and saving children like Marwa by making a donation here.