Iranian baby with heart defect to undergo surgery soon

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Iranian infant soon will have life-saving heart surgery in Portland after she was temporarily banned from coming into the U.S. by President Donald Trump's immigration order.

Since she was admitted to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital on Tuesday, 4-month-old Fatameh Reshad has been undergoing a series of diagnostic studies in preparation for her surgery, hospital officials said in a news release.

A procedure called a cardiac catheterization was done Friday to determine the extent of injury to her lungs, which went well, according to Dr. Laurie Armsby, interim head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at OHSU.

"The results were very encouraging. Despite the excess of blood passing through her lungs we believe we can proceed with surgical correction as planned," she said in the news release.

The girl's heart defects can be repaired by closing the holes in her heart and reconnecting the transposed arteries to the proper pumping chambers of the heart, according to Dr. Irving Shen, head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at OHSU, who will perform the surgery.

If all goes as planned, Fatemeh's health care team expects her to stay in the hospital for up to three weeks.

Iranian doctors told the child's parents weeks ago that she needed surgery. But the family's tourist visa was abruptly canceled after Trump announced his executive order banning the entry of people from seven countries with Muslim majorities.

A Seattle judge issued a temporary restraining order on the ban the same day a waiver was granted for the baby.

The family of the 4-month-old chose Portland because of its proximity to relatives and because of OHSU's expertise in treatment of the heart condition.

The hospital also said the family "expresses their profound gratitude for the expert care their child is receiving and for the constant stream of support from people around the world."

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