Bijan was born in Tehran, one of twins. While his sister was in perfect health, he was missing a critical heart valve. In medical terms, his diagnosis is pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect on Prostaglandins with a parent ductus arteriosus, severe tetralogy of Fallot.

The baby was sent home with his mother in Tehran after a day in the hospital, and the parents were told that he would die shortly. His family refused to accept this. Thankfully, they found FCI. They contacted us. We quickly contacted The Minneapolis Children’s Heart Clinic, which is one of the premier pediatric heart centers in the country. Once the physicians there assured us that they could help and that there was no reason for this baby boy to die, we started the process of getting his visa secured and bringing him to the United States. In order to get a visa for him and for this father who was accompanying him, we had to appeal to the good offices of Senator Bob Dole, Senator Rod Grams, Representative Jim Ramstad, and Representative Bill Luther. These individuals were instrumental in convincing the American Consulate to issue a visa and in expediting the father’s security check through Washington.

The baby has now had two surgeries. His life has, at least temporarily, been spared. Thanks to Dr. Allison Cabalka and Dr. Hovald Helseth of the Children’s Heart Clinic, we are hopeful that surgeries will have the desired effect of correcting his defect for the time being. He will, of course, need further surgeries as he continues to grow.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. If you compare his baby pictures to those we received after he went home and grew, your heart will be truly warmed.