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Four-Year-Old Sofia Has a Heart Defect.
Heart Surgery Can Save Her Life. Please Help.

Sofia is a four-year-old girl with a congenital heart defect. Endovascular surgery can save her life. The full cost of the operation is $42,473. Dr. Sean Levchuck at Saint Francis Hospital will perform the surgery for free, but the cost of expendable medical supplies, airfare, living expenses and support for the family is $8,565. Russian Gift of Life USA’s Moscow partner the children’s charity Rusfond has funded the family’s flight (Moscow – New York – Moscow) for $2,085.

Russian Gift of Life, USA raised the funds needed for Sofia's heart surgery and travel expenses from Russia.


Sofia has an ASD (an atrial septal defect), a condition in which the wall that separates the upper heart chambers does not close completely. As a result, blood continues to flow from the left to the right atria. If too much blood moves from the right side of the heart, pressure in the lungs builds up. She was first diagnosed with this condition at age eight months. Yet options for treatment in her area of Russia are limited. If the ASD is not closed, Sofia risks heart failure, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary over-circulation, pulmonary hypertension and stroke. Sofia is from the town of Usman in the Lipetsk Region of Russia.

Sofia's defect can be treated without the need for open-heart surgery, using a medical device called an amplatzer.



Through a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure, Dr. Levchuck, Chairman of Pediatric Cardiology at Saint Francis Hospital, will be able to correct the girl's heart condition so she can live like other girls her age.


Sofia's life-saving heart surgery was

successfully performed on October 3, 2012.

RGOL posted news items about Sofia

from September 8, 2012 through October 8, 2012.

To view the news items please click here.

To read about the day of Sofia's surgery, please click here.



"Today is October 3, 2013, exactly a year from the time that that our little Sonya was operated, it seems like just yesterday...

Our heartfelt thanks for the help and support your foundation "Gift of Life" gave our family. Saving the life of our little peanut, you have given hope for the well being of our family, returned faith to our life and given us happiness.

A huge thanks goes to Dr. Sean Levchuck for his hands of gold, to Michael Yurieff, who was our guide here, there, and everywhere and could solve any problem. To the ever smiling and positive Lee Robbins, and her friend who always brought us good cheer - the language barrier never bothered us. To Milena Kantor and her family - people with whom we always had a fun time. To gallant Witaly Jakowlew and his caring wife; to confident Nina Batalin and her family. To the funny and good-natured girls Ella and Susan. To Valentina and Wally Kowalenko for their guidance and support. And to everyone, everyone who was there and supported us in difficult times - we salute you!

Your inherent compassion and mercy call forth a feeling of deep respect. Thanks to you, our little girl will be able to live a full life.

We believe that God sees all the good that you beautiful and wonderful people do. We wish you and your families good health, physical strength, much luck, success and good fortune in all your endeavors. We wish you a bright and beautiful life and the fulfillment of your most cherished dreams. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you a million times!

May God bless all of you!

With gratitude Olga's mother and family."

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