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Heart surgery on Iraqi boy called a success

Gainesville Marine arranged for care in S.C.

POSTED: April 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The open-heart surgery on a 5-year-old Iraqi boy ended Tuesday and officials at the Medical University of South Carolina are calling the four-hour operation a success.

Ammar Muhammad was breathing on his own in a surgical recovery room at the Charleston hospital. He 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 life-threatening situation was discovered by Marine Maj. Kevin Jarrard of Gainesville, who with the help of his fellow Marines, arranged care at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston through the Rotary Club’s Gift of Life program, sponsored by Rotary International district 7770.

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 pediatric intensive care unit for two days and then in a private room for a few additional days. The boy and his father will stay near Charleston for two weeks of follow-up doctor visits before returning to Iraq.

The funds used to fly the father and son to Charleston came from leftover funds that were raised for another child aided by Jarrard and his Marine unit.



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