We did some very important things today. Not only the life-changing surgeries, but also finding a child with an undiagnosed fatal heart condition that we were able to get a STAT work-up and immediate transfer to a pediatric intensive care hospital with pediatric cardiac surgery. Her life was saved!! But major kudos go to our top-notch pediatricians and the volunteers who made the transfer happen.

By Doctor Anne Delaney, MD


Patient: Luz

Age: 5 months

Origin: Mutata (Antioquia)

Dx: cleft lip

Date of attention: April 25, 2023

Location: General Hospital of Medellín (HGM)

Luz was brought to the Rotaplast Clinic by her mom who is from a rural indigenous area where Spanish is not spoken. Despite some communication barriers Dr. Delaney (Rotaplast Medical Director) and Dr. Morales (Rotaplast Pediatrician) were able to piece together her story. Luz is the first child and she was delivered at home. Her mother said noted that Luz was very small but was fine upon delivery. Luz’s mother has two sisters, both of whom were born with cleft lips and palates. At 5 months old, this is the first medical assessment that Luz has received. Dr. Morales, Rotaplast’s pediatrician, checks while the baby is breastfed, noticing that she is very small and pale. Dr. Morales listens to Luz’s heart and finds a peculiar murmur that warrants further examination. Dr. Morales consults local pediatric cardiologists, Dr. Karime and Dr. Yabar, and a pediatric echocardiogram is performed. The results showed that Luz was born with an extreme Tetralogy of Fallot heart defect. Therefore, Luz’s heart has been having trouble pumping oxygen rich blood through her body. With Medellin at 5,000 feet the air is thinner making her condition more deadly. Rotaplast and our local collaborators sprang into action. Dr. Mirna communicated with the pediatric cardiology unit of San Vicente de Paul Foundation Hospital, which has all equipment, supplies, and staff to manage pediatric cariology cases, and Luz was transferred immediately. Transportation for Luz and her mother was arranged by Juan Gallego, Rotaplast Laison, and accompanied by Eliana a represent of Antioquia’s governors office and Carolina a support nursing assistant. Luz is received immediately and transferred to the pediatric cardiology unit for management.