Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chalk Another One Up For Progress In Afghanistan

First Ever Open Heart Surgery in the History of Afghanistan, very cool, this is just the start, we got the ball rolling. Do you think the Taliban would have ever come close to accomplishing something like this? Uhh.....don't think so.

Surgeons of Hope, a non-profit organization that brings surgery and medical care to indigent children while training local surgeons in developing countries, performed the first ever open heart surgery this week in the history of Afghanistan. The revolutionary procedure was completed on a 13 year old Afghani girl named Elaha at the Medical Institute for Afghan Children in Kabul.

According to Dr. Alain Deloche, founder of Surgeons of Hope in the U.S. and one of six medical professionals who conducted the operation, Elaha was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart malfunction which would usually have resulted in death within two or three years. "Correction of this condition is a routine heart procedure," said Deloche. "But it is exclusively done before a patient has reached age two. Elaha is a survivor! She managed to live to the age of 13 without this crucial intervention, allowing blood flow between the chambers of the heart."

Deloche continued, "The symbolic value of this event outweighs its technical aspect. We have verified that this is the first open heart surgery in Afghan history."

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