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Iranian infant Fatemeh Reshad arrives safely at OHSU Doernbecher

Baby Fatemeh Reshad arrived in Portland, Oregon, early Tuesday morning and has been admitted to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Physicians at OHSU Doernbecher are conducting a series of diagnostic studies and the early results are promising.

Heart diagram

“Fatemeh looks well. Our tests this morning have confirmed her diagnosis and the urgent need for treatment,” said Laurie Armsby, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and interim head, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, OHSU School of Medicine. “As we suspected, her heart condition has resulted in injury to her lungs, however the studies today indicate that she has presented to us in time to reverse this process.”

Her treatment will begin with a cardiac catheterization, performed by Armsby, followed by a five- to six-hour surgical procedure performed by Irving Shen, M.D., head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at OHSU Doernbecher, OHSU School of Medicine, and a nationally accomplished expert on Fatemeh’s condition.

Fatemeh’s family, including her grandparents and uncle who live in Portland, Oregon, are deeply grateful for the outpouring of kindness and support they’ve received throughout their journey to the United States, and 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.

“This was truly a team effort to beat the clock, given the medical and legal hurdles Fatemeh was facing,” said Jennifer Morrissey, a Portland immigration attorney with Black Helterline LLP. Morrissey, DC immigration attorney Amber Murray, volunteer medical coordinator Mary Pao Seideman, M.D., Ph.D., and the International Refugee Assistance Project in New York volunteered their services on behalf of the Reshad family. Morrissey and her colleagues have been instrumental in getting the family to Portland.

The family recognizes the significant interest in their story and the media’s thoughtful coverage, and they continue to appreciate their understanding that at this time, the family is focused on the health of Fatemeh. They intend to continue to provide periodic updates to media through OHSU’s media relations department on the status of Fatemeh’s care, as appropriate.


Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad was born with a complex, life-threatening heart defect known as transposition of the great arteries, or TGA. TGA with ventricular septal defect affects approximately 2 in 10,000 newborns each year. Although this defect is rare, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and other congenital cardiac centers in the United States routinely care for children with this condition. In the United States, the standard approach for a child born with this defect is to perform heart surgery, typically within several days to several weeks of birth. Generally speaking, the surgery has a very high rate of success. The earlier the heart surgery is performed, the more likely the child will have a successful outcome. If the child does not undergo surgical treatment, there is no medical management that will prevent the outcome of death at a premature age.


OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital would like the public to know the following about funding for Fatemeh’s care:

  • OHSU Doernbecher is providing life-saving care to Fatemeh as we do for thousands of children every year. No child in need of OHSU Doernbecher’s services has been displaced as a result. No state appropriations will be used for this infant’s care.
  • OHSU Doernbecher provides a significant amount of uncompensated care every year to ensure that the ability to pay does not prevent children from accessing OHSU’s services. We are fortunate to receive donations from the community to offset some of our uncompensated care costs.


Individuals who would like to ensure their funds are used solely to benefit Fatemeh and her family can visit A page has been set up by attorney Amber Murray and volunteer medical coordinator Mary Pao Seideman, M.D., Ph.D., to accept gifts that are not tax-deductible.

Tax-deductible gifts to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation benefit all children and families in need. The Doernbecher Patient Care and Comfort Fund supports costs associated with uncompensated care, lodging and travel of OHSU Doernbecher families in need. Monetary donations may be made online, or a check may be sent to: Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, 1121 S.W. Salmon Street, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97205


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