One year old Leiny Montalvo was one of four children who received lifesaving surgery courtesy of the Gift of Life Belize. This project was created by members of the Rotary Club of Belize and is devoted to providing life-saving heart surgery for children. Leiny was born with a medical condition known as Patent duc-tus-art-e-rio-su-sor PDA. It is a heart condition in which abnormal blood flow occurs between two of the major arteries connected to the heart. Today the media caught up with Leiny’s father, Daniel at the KHMH in Belize City.
Daniel Montalvo, Father
“A vein or an artery that supposed to have been closed when she born, didn’t and that was casing a flow of extra blood to the lungs that would eventually would affect the lungs and damage the lungs. That is what was causing her and that’s what was causing the problem with her with these are some of the symptoms we saw like loss of appetite, development was not proper, her weight was not proper that’s the causes so that’s actually the PDA, just a vein that should have closed and didn’t close during after she born it should have been done for me it’s really a gift of life what was done to her. It was something that would be happy and express our gratitude for the reset of her life because that has actually made a complete change for sure in my babies life already now.We have three children two boys and my beautiful princess.”
Forming part of the medical team that conducted the surgeries was Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Jeff Delaney.
Dr. Jeff Delaney, Pediatric Cardiologist
“Of our children had basically the same diagnosis, they were different ages, two of the patients were teenagers and one little girl was age three and one was age one. They all have a blood vessel between the big blood vessel that supplies their body via the Aortae and the blood vessel going to their lungs that is supposed to close when you are a baby. If it doesn’t it provides a lot of extra blood to the lungs and it makes your heart get to big and eventually your lungs and your heart can fail as a result so all of the procedures, fortunately, went very well. What we also have another doctor who is not here for the interview right now but we brought a Cardiac Anesthesiologist who worked with the Anesthesia team at Karl Huesner. All the children come to the cat lab and they’re placed under Anesthesia then we place the carputers into the blood vessel in the leg, one artery and one vein and we thread the captures up through the body to the place where this blood vessel is, we take pictures of it with the X-ray cameras and the contrast dye and that tells us which of our devices will fill that blood vessel, close it completely and interfere with any of the adjacent structures and blood vessels.”
Public Relations Officer for the KHMH, TylonTillett explained the role of the KHMH in saving the lives of the four patients.
TylonTillett, PR Officer, KHMH
“Our motto at the KHMH is we take care of you and we trying to do that from all aspects including areas that we might not necessarily have expertise to get it done but we make sure we network and we search for international partners to get it done. KHMH creates the environment for different medical teams with different specialties to come into the country yearly and Rotary Gift of Life is around this time every year in February. Other partners that bring in specialties for children would be World Pediatric Project and another agency called Going To Extremes so rotary gift of life identifies these kids, they come here at the KHMH, they use our facilities to help create these life giving surgeries as their moto says and our staff, our doctors help in the preparation of the surgeries, the performance of the surgeries and the recovery that is necessary for the patient.”
A surgery of this nature would typically cost about fifty thousand dollars.