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Kovalenko Dasha, 3 years old

Date of birth: 21 February 2008.
Moscow.

Diagnosis: congenital heart disorder. Had Dasha stayed in Russia, she wouldn’t survive. She was born with a very complicated disorder that Russian doctors refused to operate. In Germany she had 2 corrections and the doctors were able to restore the normal structure of her heart. However the treatment is not finished, Dasha needs the third surgery that costs 12,420 euros.
18 April 2011

Russian doctors refused to operate Dasha’s heart, it was impossible to do in Russian hospitals. Doctors suggested Dasha wait for 15 years, then they’d be able to transplant one lung. Dasha’s mom wondered if her daughter would be able to live for 15 years with one lung, to which the doctors said «maybe, if you’re lucky». Right away it was obvious that they were not lucky, Dasha could barely live. She barely moved, barely ate, didn’t speak. It was as if she understood that her energy was almost out, she needed to save it until her mom and grandmother find a solution. They knew they’d find some other doctors that wouldn’t deny the child her life!

Dasha found help in Berlin. Russian Help Fund collected the money. Dasha’s story didn’t leave anyone indifferent, and people helped pay for the surgery. German surgeons did a miracle, they literally molded a part of Dasha’s heart. Dasha came to life. She didn’t have to save the energy, she could smile at her mom, hug her granny, play with her toys, speak and walk.

Unfortunately, German doctors couldn’t finish the job. Dasha’s blood came streaming in her vessels, and they were not ready for it. Doctors had to leave a «window» in the ventricular septum in order to decrease the pressure. It meant that Dasha’s heart disorder was too complicated, even for the German surgeons, and that she would need another surgery. Dasha’s leading surgeon Dr. Ovrutskii described the treatment procedure:

We performed a complicated surgical interference (open and endovascular surgery). Now the heart and the vessels have normal anatomy. The next step is to expand the pulmonary artery stent and close the ventricular defect (it was left there un purpose to relieve the pressure on the right ventricle). It was not possible to correct everything in one surgery. In the future the child will need to have the pulmonary valve replaced again, because with atresia (which is the lack of valve and pulmonary artery) correction is only possible together with putting valve prosthesis.

The second surgery was paid by people again through the Russian Help Fund. Everybody knows that it’s pointless to wait for the help from the government. Also the family know they won’t be able to save enough money. Dasha’s mom works as a nurse in a regular hospital, her dad doesn’t help them other than with alimony, her grandmother is handicapped and her grandfather recently had a stroke. They live in a one-bedroom apartment. Russian Help Fund is not able to help them at the moment, but Dasha needs the third surgery so that the doctors can fix another disorder in her heart. The needed amount of money is 12,420 euros. We are asking you to help Dasha.

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