4-Month-Old Iranian Baby With an ‘Urgent Need for Treatment’ Admitted to Portland Hospital

Updated

An Iranian baby has arrived in the U.S. in time for her life-saving heart surgery.

Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad was admitted to a hospital in Portland, Oregon with her family on Tuesday, after the government made an exception for her after her tourist visa was canceled last week due to President Donald Trump‘s executive order temporarily banning travel to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran.

“Fatemeh looks well,” said Dr. Laurie Armsby, interim head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, according to the Associated Press. “Our tests this morning have confirmed her diagnosis and the urgent need for treatment.”

Armsby also explained that the infant’s heart condition had “resulted in injury to her lungs” but there is time “to reverse this process.”

On Tuesday, the hospital issued a statement saying that the family “would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make their trip possible. The family would like to give special thanks to the congressional delegations and governors of Oregon and New York.”

The hospital previously announced that Fatemeh’s “physicians agreed to waive fees” and that “no public funds will be used to pay for it.”

During a Facebook live video on Saturday, Fatemeh’s doctors stated: “In the 90 years that OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has been a hospital, we’ve never turned away a child – and we never expect to.”

With Armsby adding, “One of the joys of our subspecialty is that, with treatment, this child would be expected to live an active and full life.”

Treatment will begin with a cardiac catheterization followed by a five- to six-hour surgical procedure performed by a nationally respected expert on Fatemeh’s condition.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo helped Fatemeh and her family obtain the waiver necessary to enter the country. On Friday, a Seattle judge temporarily blocked Trump’s ban, causing the State Department to reverse its cancellation of visas for people affected by the ban.

Weeks ago, doctors in Iran told Fatemeh’s parents that she needed at least one urgent surgery to fix her serious heart defects, or she will die, her uncle, Samad Taghizadeh, a U.S. citizen who lives in Portland, told AP.

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