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Siberian Tots Flown To Greenville For Surgery

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GREENVILLE — Two ten-month-old babies have traveled more than 9,000 miles, from Siberia to Greenville, for life-saving heart surgery they could not get at home.

They are charming, cuddly and playful like most babies. These tots, though, have a big medical problem. They were born with holes in their hearts that could be life-threatening without corrective surgery.

Through an interpreter, their mothers said they are grateful, because in Mongolia, there is one cardiologist for more than 2,000,000 people.

"She can't imagine if they don't come here," the interpreter said.

The Children's Heart Project is part of Samaritan's Purse, a non-profit organization that brings children to the U.S who need urgent healthcare. Doctors at Pitt County Memorial Hospital will donate their services for the heart surgery. The Greenville community will volunteer hospitality.

"I got a call from Samaritan's Purse in Boone this morning and (the caller) said,' remember, you're going to have to give them back,' but I'm looking at them thinking that's going to be hard because I'm going to enjoy them so much," said Grace Carroway, whose family will host the Siberians.

Doctors will do a clinical work-up on Thursday, and the surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. The prognosis for these children growing up and leading long healthy lives, if all goes well, should be good.

The children and their families should be in Greenville for the next five to six weeks.


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