Science

Iranian Infant In Need of Heart Surgery Banned From Entering the US

By Charles Omedo , Feb 03, 2017 02:21 AM EST

Following President Donald Trump's recent executive order banning immigration, a 4-month-old Iranian girl requiring open heart surgery at OHSU has been turned back and unable to enter the United States where she's scheduled for surgical appointment.

Baby Fatemah is suffering from a high risk heart condition that can only be repaired via open heart surgery, and with the help of her uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, who has been resident in the US for 13 years, she's due for surgery at OHSU on February 5.

Family Fear for Fatemah's Life and Pained with Visa Fee Losses

But the chances of the surgery taking place is near zero at the moment, since baby Fatemah and her family who was accompanying her to the US cannot be granted entry anymore. Even the chances of uncle Taghizadeh's re-entry into the US is very slim - he had gone back to Iran to accompany the family down to the US before they learned of Trump's executive order, Fox 12 Oregon reports.

The family left Iran and arrived Dubai via air-flight to secure their tourist visa at the US consulate. According to Taghizadeh, they had complied with all required paperwork and done everything they were asked to do in the face of all troubles and everything was set for obtaining their visas - then the news of the immigration ban filtered in and their visas were immediately withdrawn.

Family members said their watched their hopes of saving baby Fatemah scuttle out of their reach at the last moment; and to make matters worse, Taghizadeh was unable to raise intervention from OHSU or even get their response to the whole trouble despite repeated calls and emails. The family said they are at a total loss on what to do.

OHSU Said They Remain Open To Patients Regardless of Immigration Status

After a lot of efforts failed, the family left Dubai and is now back home to Iran brooding over loss of investments and the fear of watching Fatemah die. Taghizadeh said they were told to reapply again in 90 days, but is not certain whether Fatemah can live that long without surgery which is best performed in the US. The only miracle that could save Fatemah now is a visa waiver, Washington Post wrote.

Doctors at OHSU insist baby Fatemah must undergo the open heart surgery as soon as possible to save her life, and the hospital management said her scheduled surgeries remain open and unrevoked. The hospital added that they would never turn away any patients on account of their immigration status or travel ban, and would continue to help anyone who is able to reach them for medical procedures.

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