After Life-Saving Surgery In Syracuse, Haitian Girl Returns Home
A 12-year-old girl from Haiti who came to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital more than two months ago for life-saving heart surgery had a hard time saying goodbye today to the doctors and nurses who cared for her.
By James T. Mulder
Syracuse, N.Y. -- A 12-year-old girl from Haiti who came to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital more than two months ago for life-saving heart surgery had a hard time saying goodbye today to the doctors and nurses who cared for her.
Maudeline Edmond threw herself down on the examining table and cried after pediatric cardiologist Dr. Matthew Egan gave her a hug during her last appointment.
Pam Ethington of Syracuse, who served as a chaperone for the girl since her arrival in Syracuse Oct. 2, called the operation the child received at Golisano "transformative."
"You take a young girl who would not have made it to adulthood and now she has a chance at a future and a new life," said Ethington. Owen Robinson, Ethington's son, helped facilitiate the surgery through Haiti Cardiac Alliance, an organization he founded that helps Haitian children with heart disease get care at hospitals in the U.S. and other countries.
Maudeline Edmond with Dr. Matthew Egan, a pediatric cardiologist at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.
Maudeline was born with a hole between the bottom chambers of her heart, a condition that's routinely fixed by surgeons in the U.S. before a child turns 1. That kind of surgical care is not available in Haiti. Over time the condition led to a severe blockage in one of her heart chambers. "This is not something she would have lived with many more years," Egan said.
Dr. George Alfieris performed the surgery on Maudeline. Egan and fellow cardiologist Dr. Frank Smith also cared for her. She was discharged from the hospital Oct. 20, but has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House so doctors could monitor her recovery and make sure she didn't develop any complications. The girl's aunt, Cernetha Brinvil, accompanied her to Syracuse because Maudeline's mother has eight other children to care for in Haiti. Maudeline and her aunt will fly back to Haiti Monday.
The hospital and its doctors donated their services.
Maudeline is the fourth child from Haiti who has come to Syracuse for medical care through the Haiti Cardiac Alliance. That organization has arranged surgeries in several different countries for about 72 Haitian children. It has about 200 other Haitians on its waiting list.
While in Syracuse, Maudeline experienced snow for the first time, saw the movie "Frozen," attended a Syracuse University football game and visited the zoo.
Egan said Maudeline is doing well and has much more energy than she did before the operation. "She's going to live a long healthy life," he said. "She's an amazing girl."
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