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Iranian infant Fatemeh Reshad to undergo heart surgery soon

Fatemeh Reshad, an infant from Iran with a life-threatening heart condition, will be treated at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. (Family photo)

Four-month-old Iranian infant Fatemeh Reshad will undergo heart surgery soon to treat a life-threatening congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries with ventricle septal defects, and pulmonary arterial hypertension, a condition if left untreated can cause irreversible damage to the lungs.

Fatemeh was admitted to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Tuesday, Feb. 7, and has been undergoing a series of diagnostic studies in preparation for her surgery.

Today Fatemeh’s health care team performed a cardiac catheterization -- a medical procedure in which a tiny plastic tube, or catheter, is inserted into a vein or artery and threaded through the blood vessels into the heart and lungs. They performed this test in order to determine the extent of injury to her lungs prior to surgery. 

“The procedure went well today. The results were very encouraging. Despite the excess of blood passing through her lungs we believe we can proceed with surgical correction as planned,” 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. 

“Fatemeh’s heart defects can be repaired by closing the holes in her heart and reconnecting the transposed arteries to the proper pumping chambers of the heart,” said Irving Shen, M.D., professor of surgery and head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, OHSU School of Medicine, and a nationally accomplished expert on Fatemeh’s condition.

If all goes as planned, Fatemeh’s health care team expects her to be cared for in hospital for up to three weeks.

The family expresses their profound gratitude for the expert care their child is receiving and for the constant stream of support from people around the world. The family appreciates the privacy they have been afforded, despite very high interest in their daughter’s condition, and are thankful for the media’s continued understanding that their focus remains on Fatemeh.

The OHSU media relations department will continue to work with the family to provide updates on baby Fatemeh, as appropriate.

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