Friday, September 30, 2005
Ill Iraqi Girl, 5, Is Flown to Albuquerque
Journal Staff Report
A 5-year-old Iraqi girl who suffers from a congenital heart defect has arrived in Albuquerque for surgery that could save her life.
Two American soldiers found the girl, weak and slightly blue, during a sweep through Mosul in May.
Thanks in part to the aid organization Healing the Children, the girl and her mother were flown to Albuquerque on Wednesday.
The girl's mother has requested that their identity remain private. She fears her entire family could be branded as American sympathizers by Iraqi insurgents, which would put them at risk of reprisal back home.
Presbyterian Hospital officials have agreed to treat the girl, according to Camille Dozier, director of the Southwest chapter of Healing the Children.
A U.S. military surgeon in Iraq found that she had a birth defect. Holes in her heart wall impair her blood circulation, with barely enough blood reaching her hands and feet.
Congresswoman Heather Wilson's office assisted in getting clearance for the girl and her mother to come to Albuquerque. The Palestinian Children's Fund helped with transportation.