A Zimbabwean infant with a congenital heart defect has received life-altering treatment in Korea.
Seo Dong-man, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Konkuk University Medical Center in Seoul, recently performed an operation on Success Kudzaishe Zingombe, a one-year-old girl who suffered from severe respiratory distress due to a ventricular septal defect.
The defect is located in the ventricular septum, the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart.
The baby weighed about 2 kilograms when she was born in an impoverished Zimbabwean village in February last year. Her parents named her Success, wishing for healthy growth, but at eight months old she began to have difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect.
There was nothing her parents could do at the time. Both had lost their jobs five years earlier, and also had a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter.
A Korean medical missionary working in Zimbabwe learned of their circumstances and asked Konkuk University Medical Center to operate on Zingombe. She arrived in Korea in late August.
Medical expenses were paid by the Korea Food for the Hungry International, an overseas aid non-profit based in Seoul. Seo, an authority on children’s congenital heart disorders, performed the surgery last month. Zingombe returned home in late September after follow-up treatment.
“After the case of Zingombe, Seo performed another surgery on a two-year-old girl from Egypt who came to Korea with the same heart defect on Sept. 25,” an official from Konkuk University Medical Center said. “She is still hospitalized for recuperation.”
Four Vietnamese babies with congenital heart diseases are scheduled to come to Korea late this month for surgery at the medical center.
By Chun Sung-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org)