In March 2015, Teodosia, 43, and Marcos, 48, were delighted to welcome their first and only child, a daughter, whom they named Naysha. The couple had feared they would never have children, but Teodosia enjoyed an uneventful pregnancy, and they treasure Naysha as an extra special gift in their lives.
When the newborn baby developed a fever, they immediately took her to the pediatrician, who discovered a heart problem. The family was referred to the new heart facilities at the public children’s hospital in their hometown of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Virna Severiche confirmed a diagnosis of ventricular septal defect, or VSD, the most common congenital heart defect. The family was also referred to the local representation of the Solidarity Bridge Children’s Heart Program, to be evaluated for eligibility for assistance provided by the program’s chief supporters, Isaac and Renee Goff.
The family lives with Naysha’s paternal grandfather, 82-year-old Alberto, who is also in poor health. Marcos works as a bricklayer to support the extended family. Teodosia used to sell fruit, but now stays home to provide round-the-clock child and elder care.
On October 12, 2015, Naysha’s condition had sufficiently stabilized to allow surgeons Dr. Roberto Pacheco and Dr. Arturo Barrientos to patch the defect in her heart wall, using the baby’s own tissue. Naysha spent eight more days in the hospital before going home. She is expected to make a full and complete recovery.
Teodosia shared her story with the social worker:
She is my only little daughter and I may not have any more children. Now our daughter is sick, but we are hopeful she will recover. Our family is supporting us, and we are also grateful for the help you are providing because we do not have the resources to cover the surgery. May God bless you for the work you are doing.