WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – When doctors in Kosovo indicated that 4-year-old Erda Aliu had a heart problem that couldn’t be repaired there, Rotary District 7230’s Gift of Life Charity, stepped in and her prayers were answered.
Erda and her mother Mynevere arrived in New York on Monday, Dec. 1, with the child scheduled for life-saving surgery at Westchester’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla on Monday, Dec. 8.
Gift of Life Chairman Bill Currie not only arranged for Erda’s surgery, but board member Mike Fix from Eastchester Rotary Club found a host family for the Alius and their interpreter and managed all the logistics to ensure a successful stay in Westchester.
The cardiothoracic surgeon at Maria Fareri discovered that Erda had an 18mm-wide hole in her heart, which he closed in a 90-minute procedure while Aliu was placed on a heart bypass machine.
She awoke later that day in a “remarkably good frame of mind,” according to her doctor. In just a few weeks, Erda has recovered completely and has been given a very positive prognosis for a full, healthy life. Within the next few weeks she and her mother will be returning to Kosovo.
This life-saving surgery was just the most recent of the 15,000 that have been performed over the past 40 years on children from 30 countries through the auspices of Rotary District 7230’s Gift of Life.
The Rotary Gift of Life is sponsored by participating clubs of Rotary District 7230, which includes 45 clubs in Westchester, the Bronx, New York City and Bermuda.
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