Alejandra lives in San Salvador with her parents and two older siblings. She is very talkative and social, and loves to play with her siblings. When Alejandra was 2 months old she was diagnosed with heart disease so severe, that she was in need of urgent surgery. In an effort to speed up the process, her parents got a loan for an echocardiogram and medicines. For two years, Alejandras parents and the doctors desperately struggled to keep her alive. Their efforts paid off, she had her surgery with the next Heart Care International visit and Alejandra has recovered beautifully.
Melvin loves listening to music and most of all dancing. Unfortunately, he often gets tired and faints, so he has to stay calm. His hand and toenails are heavily swollen and blue so he cannot find comfortable shoes. At night his mom massages his nails in an effort to alleviate the discomfort. A few days after his surgery Melvin showed the nurses and his fellow patients his dance moves! He has recovered wonderfully and is home very happy with his pink lips.
Heidi lives in Apopa, El Salvador with her mother and younger sibling. She was diagnosed at birth and was on the waiting list for heart surgery. At 4 years of age her father took her away from her mother under that belief that doctors were lying about Heidis condition. After a terrible fight for parental rights, her mother took her into hiding so that she could receive the much needed cardiac care. At the age of 10, she finally received her long waited heart surgery. Heidi felt very happy after her heart operation, especially since her lips were no longer blue! She has since been able to go to school regularly and play with her friends. Heidi wants to be a heart doctor when she grows up and help other kids like her.
Tania was diagnosed with a large hole in her heart when she was 2 years old. She waited 13 years to have a surgery. When diagnosed, Tania was referred to a cardiologist at the only public childrens hospital in El Salvador, the Benjamin Bloom Childrens Hospital in San Salvador. Her family lived in San Pedro Perulapan, several hours away from San Salvador, so she and her family had to endure the long trips and the financial expense of those trips. Tania grew up wishing to learn how to rollerblade, to run with her friends and to walk at the same pace as her school classmates. She could not do any of these activities because she would become very tired and fainted easily. On May 14, 2007, Tania finally had her heart completely repaired. She recovered well and was able to go home a few days after her surgery. Tania is now an accomplished rollerbladder.