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» Omar's Story
At 22 weeks into her pregnancy, Lori Slone never expected one of her twins to be diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), a condition occurring when the diaphragm does not fully develop and abdominal organs grow into the chest, preventing normal lung development.|
After the shocking diagnosis, Lori did some research and found that Boston Children's Hospital was a leader in treating CDH. In fact, the Hospital's Advanced Fetal Care Center's (AFCC) survival rate is close to 90 percent, while the national average is only 50 percent.
Shortly after the twins, Bella and Lily, were born, Bella was transported to Boston Children's and placed on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), to help supply oxygenation to her heart and lungs. This was followed by more than four months on a ventilator to help support her lungs. While Bella endured four surgeries during her seven-month stay in the Intensive Care Unit, Lori, husband Chris, son Christopher, and Lily were able to stay within walking distance of the Hospital at Children's patient family home, the Devon Nicole House.
"We were so grateful to have a place to stay during Bella's long hospital stay," says Lori. "The opportunity to meet other families in a supportive environment gave us the strength to focus 100 percent of our energy on Bella as she healed. This new home will give more families a comforting place to stay without financial worry."
De Goti Family
Zahira de Goti was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she found out that her baby, Allison, was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Like any mother would, Zahira panicked but after doing minimal research on Boston Children's Hospitals she knew she had to get herself to Boston. With no resources or any sort of plan, Zahira and family members flew from Panama to Boston. Coincidentally, Boston Children's patient family housing unit, the Devon Nicole House, had recently opened and became a savior to Zahira and her family.|
Allison is now two and a half years old and living a considerably healthy life as a toddler. The family still travels frequently between Panama to Boston for Allison to receive the treatment her condition requires. This coming July, Allison is expected to undergo another heart surgery and her family finds comfort in having a plan this time around: they will return to the Devon Nicole House while Allison is at Boston Children's. Allison's road to recovery is a long one, but equally happy because she is receiving the treatment she needs at Boston Children's and because her family is able to support her while they stay in the comfort of a home away from home.
Four-year-old Omar was traveling with his family to Baghdad when their vehicle was caught in military crossfire at a security checkpoint. His father was shot three times but managed to pull Omar out of the burning vehicle. Tragically, Omar's mother was not as fortunate.|
Omar suffered severe burns to the right side of his head, right arm and hand. He required extensive reconstructive surgery to improve his quality of life, which he received at Boston Children's Hospital. Omar has undergone several reconstructive procedures performed by Boston Children's plastic surgeons, Dr. John Meara and Dr. Brian Labow, who have generously donated their time and expertise to his case. In addition, the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation, a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization that helps children in need of medical care, helped cover Omar's medical expenses beyond the surgeons' time.
If it hadn't been for Boston Children's current patient family housing facility, Omar and his father would not have had a place to stay and would likely have had to return to Iraq before Omar's treatment was complete. The Devon Nicole House, however, has enabled them to stay in Boston so that Omar can receive the full treatment he needs to heal his ailments.