A 10-month old named Samuel Patiño will have a life-saving heart surgery at Methodist Children's Hospital Wednesday. His family is from Ecuador.
Mother Geovanna Patiño said this type of surgery is not possible in their country. She said time was running out, and they had to do something. They said thanks to social media, they were connected to the team at the hospital.
"For us, this entire process has been hard," she said. "Because to find out you have a sick child is really hard. But at the same time, it gives you strength when you see him and he's fine or is smiling."
Dr. Camilia Londono-Obregon came across Samuel's case thanks to other doctors. She also has ties to the South American country, because she went to medical school there. "Samuel has what we call Hypoplastic right heart syndrome," she said.
The heart defect means the atrium and right ventricle are underdeveloped, which means there is not enough blood flow to the lungs.
"Part of being a doctor is you like to help," she said.
The doctors in Ecuador didn't feel confident about another surgery Samuel needed.
"The biggest limiting factor for them is they didn't have the materials to make the pulmonary arteries larger," the doctor said.
The entire team at Methodist Children's Hospital is not only performing their surgery, but doing it for free. It is a huge relief for the Patiño family, who didn't know how they were going to afford it. Samuel's mom not only credits the doctors, but the family's faith.
"I am firm believer that God opened up the doors," she said. "It is him as to why we are here, and who brought us."
The surgery is Wednesday morning, and doctors will create a glenn, which will allow for better flow of blood and oxygen. The family should be able to return home within a week. As for Samuel, he will have to have another surgery when he is much older.