Sunday, November 26, 2006
Angel and Stanley
Angel is five years old and is pictured at the top of this post. Stanley is 13 years old and pictured at the bottom.
I examined Angel in Haiti several weeks ago. Her heart revealed an ominous sounding murmur. Her echocardiogram shows complex congenital heart disease.
I examined Stanley today. He was in the back seat of a car and had to be carried to a wall that he sat on while I examined him. His mother and father are dead and he lives with his aunt here in Port-au-Prince. He put his head on her shoulder as she stood by him supporting him.
Stanley can only sleep in a sitting position because he is in congestive heart failure and is drowning. His heart valves sound very ill on exam. Stanley’s abdomen and legs are intensely swollen with fluid. The inside of his eyelids are white indicating anemia.
Angel needs no medication at present but I gave Stanley digoxin, furosemide, and potassium, antibiotics, and iron supplement.
Both Angel and Stanley need heart surgery to stay alive.
They are numbers 34 and 35 on the Haitian Hearts list of children destined to die as we look the other way.