Heart patients reunite with doctors who saved them
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- All is well with a group of patients who reunited with some lifesavers at a South Florida hospital. Patients of all ages got a second chance at life thanks to a caring medical staff.
Nathan Bortnick barely remembers Dr. Bourke. All three times Nathan saw the surgeon, Dr. Bourke was working on the inside the boy's tiny chest. "Nathan was born with one of the most lethal heart defects," said Bourke.
Nathan was missing half of his heart. "I gave birth, and two hours later, he was in a helicopter," said his mother.
"I remember getting a call from my mom and dad," said Nathan's brother, Ethan, "and my grandparents crying."
That was six years and three heart surgeries ago. All of the surgeries were performed at Miami Children's Hospital. "Right now, his blood flows using gravity," said his dad, Gene Bortnick.
"You feel normal?" the father turned to ask his son.
"Yeah, I guess," Nathan responded.
Lisandra Hernandez also feels normal for the first time in 20 years. "It's only been 15 days since my second operation," said Hernandez through a translator, "and I feel super great."
She spent her entire life in Cuba with her skin had a shade of blue because her heart was so weak. "Her oxygen levels were very reduced," said Cardiologist, Dr. Robert Cubeddu, "they were about 76 percent, with the normal being 100."
Her scar is still fresh from surgery, but she is as healthy as every other child at the event who, thanks to Miami Children's Hospital cardiac team, don't even know their little hearts have suffered.
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