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Two More Children from Russia Arrive for Life Saving Heart Surgery

Michael Yurieff  | Published on 9/8/2012
Sofia Popkova, her mother Olga, Anastasia Nabatnikova, and her mother Elena all arrived safely at JFK this evening. Russian Gift of Life volunteer Milena Kantor met the families as they got off the plane. By that time, they had traveled many, many long hours from their home towns to Moscow and then a ten hour flight to New York. Tired from the journey and grateful to be in America, they have all settled comfortably at Ronald McDonald House of Long Island which will be their home away from home for the next four weeks.
Sofia just turned four last month. Anastasia is already five. Both have life threatening heart defects and urgently need life saving surgery. 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. 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.

Anastasia has a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), "a condition in which a blood vessel fails to close normally after birth. As a result, she has abnormal blood flow between the aorta and pulmonary artery, two major blood vessels that surround the heart. If the PDA is not closed, Anastasia risks heart failure, bleeding in the lungs, problems with lung development, or endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart). Anastasia is from Lipetsk, Russia.
This month, their heart defects will become a thing of the past. Their mothers, Olga and Elena, are looking forward to that day in joy and trepidation. Please check back here for updates on their progress.

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