One of Mending Kids’ pediatric cardiac patients, Julissa Katherine Feiz Villanueva, received open-heart surgery ten years ago. Her now 14 month old daughter Katherin (with no E), will be traveling from Ecuador to Argentina to receive the same life-saving procedure through Mending Kids.
Mom, Julissa, now 21 years old, was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD). She had her first heart operation when she was only 18 months old. After the initial surgery, she was told that she needed another open-heart surgery. Sadly, her parents did not have enough money to pay for that operation and didn’t know where to turn. According to Julissa, “God was so miraculous and he sent us a miracle and connected us to a local foundation, who was working with Mending Kids.”
Once in contact, Mending Kids brought her to the United States where she had her final cardiac surgery, which in fact, completely healed her heart. Years later, Julissa got married and had a baby girl. She felt blessed and had what she believed to be the perfect pregnancy.
Her daughter Katherin was born with a congenital heart defect. As history repeated itself, Julissa and her husband did not have the funds to afford any surgery. Julissa turned to Mending Kids where she was welcomed with opened arms and hearts. “Mending Kids changed my life, they will also change hers.” says Julissa.
Katherin is scheduled to receive her operation by Dr. Pablo Garcia on August 24 at Garrahan Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina through Mending Kids’ Individual Surgical Care program. To learn more about our programs and to support critical surgical care for sick kids, please visit www.mendingkids.org