FOX 34 Your Health: Children's Heart Project

Reported by: Nicole Garza
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Updated: 4/02/2013 7:23 am

As part of Samaritan's Purse, the Children's Heart Project identifies kids who live in countries where required medical expertise and equipment are not as readily available. They are then connected to doctors in the United States.

Heart patient 17-month-old Daniel Canales is just one of the kids brought to Lubbock for surgery in recent weeks.

Dr. James Harrell, a thoracic cardiovascular surgeon at Covenant Health, will perform the surgery Tuesday morning.

"The services either aren't available or they are so poor, that they just aren't available to these patients," Dr. Harrell said.

As difficult as the journey has been for Daniel's mother, Sandra Elisabeth Canales, she says she is putting her faith in American medicine. Daniel needs surgery quick. He has a large hole between the pumping chambers of his heart.

"Without the surgery, his heart and lungs are going to be so damaged by this heart defect that he's not going to do well down the road," Dr. Harrell said.

In order to make these surgeries happen, Samaritan's Purse provides the family with a translator who is instrumental during visits with the American doctors. 

"They also do a great job of getting the children here, usually with one parent, for their surgery or intervention in this country. They make all of the travel arrangements and everything. So basically they get them to us, and we take care of everything once they are here," he said.

Harrell is one of three Lubbock physicians offering services as part of the project.

Daniel's mother says she is eternally grateful to everyone involved, including a local host church family.
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