Little Maria's heart on the mend - World - smh.com.au
Dylan Welch May 18, 2006 - 3:12PM
After a startling recovery Maria Soares, the three-month-old Timorese baby with a potentially fatal heart condition, has this afternoon been moved from intensive care to the cardiac ward at the Sydney Children's Hospital.
After 20 days on life support - she was brought off a ventilator on Tuesday - Director of clinical operations, Dr Michael Brydon, said Maria was improving steadily and could even be discharged from hospital soon.
"We're very optimistic that she'll be able to leave hospital relatively soon to go to a residence here in Sydney for a few weeks."
He said that if everything continued to go well for three-month-old she may be able to return to East Timor with her mother, Lorenca, in six weeks. [...]
Maria Soares suffered from a ventricular septal defect (VSD) - a small hole in her heart - and would have died in Timor where doctors were unable to perform the delicate operation.
With the help of a Rotary-backed program Reaching Overseas with Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) Maria and her mother, Lorencia Soares, were flown to Sydney for the life-saving procedure, which took place on April 27.