A mother has no choice but to seek exceptional care for her child, and that is exactly what Khamoo Alpatros did for her little boy Daniel.
After learning that the heart procedure her 1-year-old son needed was not available in Iraq or any neighboring country, she took to the internet to find an answer. This is where she came in contact with Healing the Children and Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
When Daniel was only 1 month old, doctors diagnosed him with a defect that leads to symptoms known as “blue baby syndrome” due to lack of oxygen in the bloodstream.
Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, cardiologist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, says that children with this defect can die young if the problem isn’t addressed.
After connecting with Healing the Children, Alpatros and Daniel traveled nearly 30 hours to Grand Rapids, Mich., where she met Dr. Marcus Haw and his team of cardiologists at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. This would be the team who would help little Daniel by giving him the life-changing surgery he needed.
“I am beyond thankful for everyone involved in helping my family,” Alpatros said through a translator. “The difference is already night and day. My little boy can now crawl and walk without getting blue in the face. We are so very grateful.”
Just last week Alpatros was told at a checkup that Daniel might someday be able to have a normal childhood and participate in sports and other activities. She couldn’t stop smiling as she heard the news. She and Daniel will be returning home the first week in January to be reunited with family and friends.
The doctors at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital said it has been extremely rewarding to be able to work with patients through Healing the Children.“His dad was very worried, but now is happy and worry free,” Alpatros said. “Daniel is excited to go home and be with his big brother, Joseph, who is 3.”
“We are just so happy that we could help,” Dr. Haw said. “With the help of Healing the Children, it’s really an amazing partnership that helps children across the globe.”