Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital Sends Haitian Girl Home With Mended Heart
Doctors, nurses and other caregivers said goodbye to 12-year-old Maudeline Edmond earlier this month after she spent more than two months in Syracuse, having traveled from her homeland Haiti to undergo life-saving heart surgery at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
By Darryl Geddes
Caption: Pam Ethington, Maudeline’s chaperone; Cernetha Brinvil, Maudeline’s aunt; Maudeline Edmond and Dr. Matt Egan, pediatric cardiologist.
Edmond, accompanied by her aunt Cernetha Brinvil, gathered in the pediatric intensive care (PICU) room on the hospital’s 12th floor as caregivers stopped by to wish her well and to sign her picture book. The PICU was familiar territory for Edmond, as it is where she stayed from Oct. 2 to 20, recovering from heart surgery performed by George Alfieris, MD.
“Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital is grateful to be part of this wonderful story,” said Thomas Welch, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Upstate. “Maudeline touched many hearts while in our care and we’re happy to send her off with a healthy future in store.”
Edmond suffers from pulmonic stenosis, a congenital heart defect that causes an obstruction of the pulmonary valve. The obstruction slows the delivery of blood flow from the heart to lungs.
When Maudeline was five, it was discovered she was not growing at a rate considered to be normal for a child her age, but she wasn’t diagnosed until last year that she had a heart defect. The surgery to correct her heart was not available in Haiti, but was common in the United States.
That’s where the Haiti Cardiac Alliance comes in. Founded by Central New York native Owen Robinson, the alliance has brought children from Haiti to the United States for life-saving surgery. Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital had hosted other Haitian children previously and did not hesitate to help again.
Pam Ethington, Robinson’s mother, served as Edmond’s chaperone while she was in Syracuse. “This operation is transformative,” she said. “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.”
Pediatric cardiologist Matt Egan, MD, who along with colleague Frank Smith, MD, cared for Edmond after her surgery. “Her heart repair looks wonderful and we would expect her to live a nice long healthy life now, which we could not have said before the surgery,” he said.
While in Syracuse, Edmond and her aunt stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.
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