Uninsured Arizona woman gets help from surgeon, non-profit group - New York News

Surgeon, non-profit group help uninsured Arizona woman with heart surgery

Posted: Updated:
Anahi Romero and Dr. Dr. Chris Gray Anahi Romero and Dr. Dr. Chris Gray
PHOENIX -

An uninsured young valley woman gets the surgery that could prolong her life.

The 20-year-old was born with a hole in her heart.

Without insurance, the major surgery could cost well over $100,000, but thanks to a non-profit group, the surgery took place a day before her 20th birthday.

Anahi Romero had open heart surgery just one week ago.

"I had a hold in my heart and it was pumping too much blood in my lungs," she said.

A few years ago, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.  For the untrained eye, it is tough to see, but on a sonogram, doctors noticed a hole about the size of a quarter on the upper portion of her heart.

Doctors told Anahi she'd have to have surgery or face a lifetime of potential problems, but she doesn't have insurance.

"I was worried.. where am I going to get the money to pay for a surgery like this?"

Anahi and her family turned to Gift of Life of Arizona.

"That is our mission to help needy children worldwide who are born with congenital heart defects," said Gift of Life AZ's Gina Guglielmo.

The organization recruits hospitals and surgeons willing to donate their time and resources to help uninsured children like Anahi.

"Many of these kids with certain heart defects.. they are time sensitive. Time is the enemy and if you don't get certain defects fixed before a certain time, there is permanent damage and then there is nothing that can be done," explained Guglielmo.

Pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Chris Gray performed the surgery at Banner Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa.

"She underwent a four hour procedure where we did open heart surgery," he said.  "And then closed the hole with a patch, like your mom would sow a patch in your jeans."

The patch on Anahi's heart should last a lifetime.

"This was a wonderful gift that we were able to share with her," said Gray.  "It all makes it worthwhile when you get to take care of a patient like Anahi."

She hopes to now go to college and restart the life she put on hold.

"My life practically got extended and I am so thankful to them, to Banner to Gift of Life."

Gift of Life of Arizona helps cover some of the costs of the procedures though donations. They only cover children and right now, throughout the organization, they have a waiting list of about a dozen kids who need help.

Gift of Life - Arizona, Inc.
602-445-4343
www.giftoflifeaz.org

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • LL Cool J stays true to hip hop roots

    LL Cool J stays true to hip hop roots

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:38:22 GMT
    EXCLUSIVE -- LL Cool J grew and evolved from a hip hop artist out of Hollis, Queens, to a Hollywood TV and movie star. But he always stayed true to hip hop culture. We'd see him backstage at concerts just hanging out with us, so when I heard he was back in New York for the summer I had to find out why. I tracked him down to a Midtown Manhattan recording studio for this exclusive interview.
    EXCLUSIVE -- LL Cool J grew and evolved from a hip hop artist out of Hollis, Queens, to a Hollywood TV and movie star. But he always stayed true to hip hop culture. We'd see him backstage at concerts just hanging out with us, so when I heard he was back in New York for the summer I had to find out why. I tracked him down to a Midtown Manhattan recording studio for this exclusive interview.
  • Friday Night Live: August 1, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 1, 2014

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:28:04 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: an exclusive interview with superstar LL Cool J, a helicopter tour over New York City, dishing on celebrity relationships, and sexier breakfast with Chef Mark Bailey.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: an exclusive interview with superstar LL Cool J, a helicopter tour over New York City, dishing on celebrity relationships, and sexier breakfast with Chef Mark Bailey.
  • Central Park underwear run

    Central Park underwear run

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:16:48 GMT
    Raw athleticism streaked through Central Park Friday evening bared for a modest body of spectators. Two-hundred triathletes ran a skimpy 1.7-mile loop in their underwear to flesh out the opening festivities of New York City Triathlon weekend.Midriffs and tan lines rippled in the open air and a not-so-tighty finish saw the first male and the first female finishers undress the course in record time.
    Raw athleticism streaked through Central Park Friday evening bared for a modest body of spectators. Two-hundred triathletes ran a skimpy 1.7-mile loop in their underwear to flesh out the opening festivities of New York City Triathlon weekend.Midriffs and tan lines rippled in the open air and a not-so-tighty finish saw the first male and the first female finishers undress the course in record time.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices