Alex Bout, a founder of Odessa Gift of Life brought Igor, Viktoria and their mothers to Saint Francis Hospital this morning for a medical evaluation. Executive Director Michael Yurieff served as interpreter. Dr. Levchuck's expert staff performed an electrocardiogram to confirm the children's' diagnoses. Dr. Levchuck examined little Igor and Viktoria, explained the nature of their heart defects to their anxious mothers and confirmed plans for their surgery later this month.
Though from the same area in Ukraine, neither family knew each other until fate brought them together on the Gift of Life program. The families are now fast friends and keep each other company at Ronald McDonald House of Long Island while awaiting their life-saving surgery.
Accompanying the families is the children's local cardiolgist from Ukraine, Dr. Ulyana Melnik. She is here to learn about the non-invasive technique used at St. Francis Hospital. Russian Gift of Life Board members Wally and Valentina Kowalenko are hosting Dr. Melnik in their home while the children are undergoing medical treatment in the United States.
From left to right are Dr. Sean Levchuk, Dr. Ulyana Melnik, Svitlana Nosan and her daughter Viktoria Lukyanchuk, Valeria Karabadzhak and her son Igor Yuryev (seated), Alexander Bout and Wally Kowalenko (standing).