Iranian baby has heart surgery in Portland after delay due to Tr - KPTV - FOX 12

Iranian baby has heart surgery in Portland after delay due to Trump executive order

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Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad (Photo: Sam Taghizadeh) Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad (Photo: Sam Taghizadeh)
Doctors provided an update on baby Fatemeh's condition Monday. (KPTV) Doctors provided an update on baby Fatemeh's condition Monday. (KPTV)
Baby Fatemeh's uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, expressed his happiness and gratitude for the support his family has received. (KPTV) Baby Fatemeh's uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, expressed his happiness and gratitude for the support his family has received. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A 4-month-old Iranian baby has undergone heart surgery at a Portland hospital following a delay due to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

Baby Fatemeh Reshad is now recovering at the intensive care unit at Oregon Health & Science University.

OHSU doctors said Monday that the family asked them not to share intimate or specific details about Fatemeh's surgery or recovery, but they did say they are pleased with how she's recovering.

Dr. Laurie Armsby said she had a strong sense that Fatemeh will fully recover and "go on to lead a happy and healthy life."

The girl's uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, who lives in Portland along with Fatemeh's grandparents, described the whole situation as "a miracle."

"Oregon is amazing," he said.

Baby Fatemeh's ordeal garnered international attention in January when she was not allowed to come to the U.S. for heart surgery with her family, even though they filled out the proper paperwork for tourist visas.

Fatemeh has a 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.

The family decided to come to Portland for her surgery due to having relatives in the area and the risks of having open heart surgery performed in Iran.

Dr. Irving Shen, who performed the surgery at OHSU, described the operation as "challenging" due to Fatemeh's age. Surgery to treat her condition usually occurs within a newborn's first month.

Shen noted the delay in bringing Fatemeh to the U.S. likely did not affect the surgery, which he said lasted all day.

Taghizadeh thanked the doctors at OHSU, the media for sharing Fatemeh's story and Oregon lawmakers who pushed to bring her to the state.

He said he didn't initially have any hope that his family would come to Portland and they have all been astounded by the support they received.

"My sister couldn't believe this happened. She's in shock," he said Monday.

Dr. Dana Braner did not divulge a timetable for Fatemeh's recovery, out of respect for the family's wishes, but he noted, "I do believe she is out of the woods at this point."

Taghizadeh couldn't hide his happiness.

"I'm sure she's going to walk away from here in 100 percent health," he said.

OHSU released a statement earlier this month saying, "OHSU Doernbecher is providing life-saving care to Fatemeh as we do for thousands of children every year. No child in need of the OHSU Doernbecher's services has been displaced as a result. No state appropriations will be used for this infant's care."

Donations from the community help offset uncompensated care costs for children throughout the year. Donations can be made to the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation at onwardohsu.org

Anyone who wants to donate specifically for Fatemeh's care can go to a fund established for her at generosity.com.

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