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GOLA with help from Rotary gives the “Gift of Life” to children

Jordan Daily – Baby “Rooh’s face changed from dark blue to pink after blood flowed naturally and oxygen through her small arteries following a surgery she underwent.

Saving the life of the Syrian girl “Rooh” is part of the campaigns of the Gift of Life Charitable Association (GOLA), in cooperation with the London Chain of Hope Association (COH), and funded by the Amman Cosmopolitan Rotary Club as part of the International Rotary Grant to the Gift of Life Association.  A series of heart operations took place in Jordan’s Khalidi Hospital Friday with a perfect record of recoveries.

“Rooh” is 6 months old. Her health has been restored. The color of her cheeks began to change after Dr. Mark and Dr. Maha closed the hole in her little heart. Rooh began to eat better and gain much-needed weight.

Within six days, the joint international and local medical team performed eleven heart surgeries, two diagnostic catheterizations, and one therapeutic catheterization. The children were from Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

The effort started last week with Dr. Bassam Al-Aksha performing a complex emergency arterial procedure on an eight-day-old newborn baby. The child, Marcel, of Iraqi origin, was transferred to Khalidi Hospital after his birth. The operation was urgent, under the supervision of Dr. Khaled Al-Salaymeh, and was crowned with success.

The Jordanian and American medical teams and the Gift of Life Association team all volunteered their time and effort without pay to help heal young hearts.

The Gift of Life Association aims to provide financial aid and coordination to perform heart surgeries and catheter interventions to treat children born with a congenital heart defect from poor and less fortunate families in Jordan of all nationalities. The association follows up on children after operations, as some need more than one operation.

Since its founding, the Gift of Life Association has performed more than 700 surgical operations performed by Jordanian, American, and Italian medical personnel. About 3 to 4 campaigns are conducted annually.

Currently, many children are waiting to fulfill the dream of correcting their little hearts and giving them a happy, healthy life, making their families happy.

This process helped Rawiya grow and helped her heart develop like other children her age. Rawiya, now two years old, underwent a second surgery again with Dr. Turrentine to remove her valve and repair the damage to her tissue.

As for Basma, a 16-year-old Syrian, she waited a long time until the opportunity came to patch the hole in her heart. The little girl will now be able to continue her school studies normally now that she is no longer exhausted and suffering from shortness of breath.  She aspires to become a doctor herself and treat children.

Two-year-old Omar’s operation was delayed for several days due to his infection with influenza. Once the virus was gone, Dr. Turrentine and Dr. Maha were able to perform a life-saving operation to repair the abnormalities in his little boy’s heart. He is bravely recovering under the eyes of the intensive care team.

Abdul Rahman, six years old, performed the first operation on the third day of the mission. His father laughed during his pre-op presentation because most people thought he was a girl because of his long hair and beautiful bangs. Now that he was out of the operating room and recovering well in the ICU, tears of joy and gratitude fell on his parents’ cheeks.

Doctors were also able to heal a large hole in the heart of 11-month-old Palestinian Ahmad. His worried parents were beside him in the intensive care unit, their eyes teary-eyed when he started breathing normally.”

Ahmad was born with a large hole in his heart. Today, he is one of 11 children who underwent open-heart surgery during this campaign. Ahmad is recovering well with his father at his bedside.

Two-year-old Muhannad is recovering well from heart surgery. Muhannad was born with a congenital heart defect that obstructs blood flow to the aorta.

The 9-year-old girl “Malak” from Palestine also has a story about her brothers. Hardworking, she loves mathematics and art and practices them by preparing videos for social media.  She suffered from a chest infection, and when she was examined, the doctors discovered that her small heart had a large hole that made her tired and hindered her growth. She was picked up by the Gift of Life Association in Amman, where they provided medical help. With a surgical operation on her crippled heart, they closed the hole in Malak’s heart. She is now able to return to her love of dance, art, and love of life.

The medical team from Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis was led by Dr. Mark Tarantine, a pediatric heart surgeon. He is assisted in the operating room by Dr. Maha Al-Qazim, pediatric cardiologist Tim Cordis, intensive care physician Riyad Lutfi, two intensive care nurses Sheila and Becca, and Dr. Khaled Al-Salaymeh, pediatric cardiologist consultant for the Gift of Life Association, who supervises cases and performs catheterization operations.

A perfect eleven successful heart surgeries have now been concluded thanks to volunteer doctors and support from Rotarians both in Jordan and abroad.

It is noteworthy that the Gift of Life Association, known by its English letters GOLA, is a charitable association founded in 2006 that contributes to funding necessary operations for children, as the association has helped save the lives of hundreds of children.

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