View Mobile Site


5-year-old Iraqi boy's surgery delayed

Gainesville Marine arranged for care in S.C.

POSTED: April 25, 2008 5:01 a.m.
The open-heart surgery for a 5-year-old Iraqi boy has been delayed until today, according to a spokeswoman for a Charleston, S.C., hospital.

The life-threatening plight of Ammar Muhammad was discovered by Marine Maj. Kevin Jarrard of Gainesville, who with the help of his fellow Marines arranged free care at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Kathleen Ellis, a spokeswoman for the university, said Ammar had two abscessed teeth extracted on Thursday to prevent the possible spread of infection. She did not know if the one-day delay in the surgery was related to the dental work.

Ammar was born with a condition called tetralogy of Fallot, which is normally treated when the child is an infant. However, the surgical procedure to correct the condition was not available in Iraq.

"The skin color of the body is a little blue, meaning there’s not as much oxygen as usual reaching the tissues," Dr. Andy Atz, director of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at the university, told a Charleston TV station. "And second, routinely they have a very loud murmur that anybody with a stethoscope can hear."

Atz is confident the surgery, which should take roughly four hours to complete, will do wonders for Ammar.

"What’s great about this is I think we can make a dramatic change in how he looks, how he behaves, his activity level, and drastically extend his life," he said.

Ammar and his father, an Iraqi police officer, are staying at the home of a host family from a Charleston area Rotary Club. He is expected to remain in the hospital for about a week, then stay near Charleston for two weeks of follow-up doctor visits.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.




Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...