Banoo, a seven-year-old heart patient, was referred to FCI by a nurse in a town near the village in which her family lives. The nurse had seen a broadcast regarding FCI on Voice of America TV. Upon review of medical records by Dr. David Overman, Dr. David Gremmels and their colleagues at Minneapolis Children’s Heart Clinic, the decision was made to accept Banoo for medical care.
The process of departure from Iran, securing a visa and security clearance, and obtaining the visa were completed thanks to a number American and Iranian-American expatriates and the staff at the United States Consulate in Dubai. Banoo’s journey along the chain of hope continued with her arrival in New York, where she was greeted by longtime FCI volunteer Mr. Sam Mirian. Arrival in Minnesota at the home of kind and sweet Korean-American Mrs. Sooki Jalili, and safe and sound in the loving arms of Ms. Jaleh Meshkati, the incomparable volunteer coordinator of medical affairs for FCI, meant the beginning of testing for Banoo.
The news was not good; the disease was more advanced than originally anticipated. The day of surgery, however, brought with it the good news of a very successful outcome. Five days later at her temporary Minnesota home, Banoo was playing as though nothing was wrong. And before her new American “family” had a chance to blink, it was time to say goodbye. The chain of hope would take Banoo & Mom safely home to Iran.
Videos of Banoo