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Baby Fatemeh doing well following life-saving heart surgery at OHSU Doernbecher

Physicians say infant’s heart function looks “beautiful”; family thankful for outpouring of support
Fatemeh update
OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital physicians, the Reshad family attorney and 4-month-old Fatemeh Reshad's uncle provided a post-surgery update on Fatemeh's condition, at a press conference held at OHSU in Portland, February 27, 2017. Fatemeh underwent surgery on February 17, and her doctors are pleased with how she is recovering. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

Fatemeh Reshad, a 4-month-old Iranian infant, who traveled to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for life-saving heart surgery, is “doing well” her doctors confirmed at a press conference Monday, Feb. 27.

According to Laurie Armsby, M.D., the infant underwent a surgical procedure on Friday, Feb. 17, to repair a rare and life-threatening congenital heart defect known as transposition of the great arteries, or TGA.

Fatemeh update
Sam Taghizadeh shakes hands and thanks Dana Braner, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.C.C.M., physician-in-chief, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital following a press conference held at OHSU in Portland, February 27, 2017. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

“Her heart function looks beautiful. We are very pleased with how she is recovering,” said Armsby, an associate professor of pediatrics and interim head, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, OHSU School of Medicine.

TGA affects approximately 2 in 10,000 newborns each year. In the United States, corrective surgeries are performed within several days to several weeks of birth. Because Fatemeh’s case was not addressed until age 4 months, her procedure, while successful, was more challenging. The nature and number of holes in her heart added an additional level of complexity, noted Irving Shen M.D., the surgeon who performed the critical procedure. Shen, a renowned expert on TGA, is the head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at OHSU Doernbecher, OHSU School of Medicine.

On behalf of the family, Sam Taghizadeh, the uncle of baby Fatemeh, thanked the numerous doctors, attorneys, legislators, and community members across the United States who offered support.

“In the beginning, I didn’t have any hope of my family coming here [Oregon],” Taghizadeh said. “I was surprised how so many people in the U.S. helped. Thank you for everything. I am so happy and proud that I am a U.S citizen.”

The OHSU Doernbecher team noted Fatemeh is expected to live a full and happy life.

“I believe they [the OHSU Doernbecher team] did the best. It was a miracle,” Taghizadeh said.

View footage from the press conference here.

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