Gladys and David are a young couple living in a low-income settlement along the highway outside of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Their first child, a girl named Mayra, was born in early 2013. Her birth was uneventful, but three days later she turned blue and was hospitalized for a week. No clear explanation was given for her condition, but she seemed to develop normally over the following months. At her five-month check-up, she was found to be underweight, so the doctor prescribed vitamin supplements and encouraged the young mother to feed her more frequently.
However, as Mayra approached six months of age, relatives noted that she seemed less awake and active than other babies her age. Most worrisome was the fact that she often appeared short of breath, and continued to fail to thrive in general. They took Mayra to the public hospital, where her parents were told Mayra had tiny holes in her heart, but she would get better with treatment. Gladys and David were not satisfied with that explanation, but they hesitated to consult a private doctor. David is a manual laborer who spends his days carrying bags of corn, and Gladys cleans homes, producing a combined family income of around $400 dollars a month. Fortunately, the woman whose home Gladys cleans referred her to Dr. Arturo Barrientos, cardiac surgeon and close partner of Solidarity Bridge. Dr. Barrientos and his team ran a full battery of tests and determined that Mayra needed urgent surgery to treat patent ductus arteriosis, the failure of the ductus arteriosis blood vessel to close after birth, resulting in irregular blood flow between the heart and lungs.
Dr. Barrientos performed Mayra's surgery on October 7, 2013 at the Incor Clinic in Santa Cruz. Mayra's grandparents helped Gladys and David contribute toward part of the cost of the procedure, and the entire family is extremely grateful toward the office of Fundación Puente de Solidaridad, Solidarity Bridge's local representation in Santa Cruz, for making it possible for tiny Mayra to receive the optimal surgical treatment at the hands of Dr. Barrientos, widely recognized as Santa Cruz's best cardiac surgeon. This surgery was made possible through the financial support of Dharma Trading Co. The procedure was successful, and Mayra is expected to make a full recovery.