Rare life-saving heart operation saves Haiti girl

Doctors at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv have performed a rare and complicated life-saving open-heart operation on a 12-year-old Haitian girl.

The doctors discovered Amy Mariolata when she came to a primary care clinic outside Port au Prince opened by Israeli medics in the wake of Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January 2010.

She was suffering from rheumatic heart disease, a condition affecting the heart valves, and had a life expectancy of just two years.

The doctors brought her to Israel and carried out an eight-hour surgery, which is likely to extend her life by at least 20-30 years. The $30,000 operation and transportation costs were covered by Sheba.

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