When she was just a few months old, she started to experience a severe fever and cough. These symptoms worried her mother, Balkis, a former SACH patient who, 20 years ago, received lifesaving heart surgery herself, at Wolfson Medical Center.
Constantly in and out of hospitals, Fatma was getting sicker each day. Her alarmed mother brought her to an annual SACH clinic in Zanzibar, where Fatma was diagnosed with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The opening, called the ductus arteriosus, is a normal part of a baby's circulatory system before birth that usually closes shortly after birth. Her mother, Balkis, had been treated for the same condition in Israel, through Save a Child's Heart, 20 years ago.
In May, Fatma was flown to Israel and admitted to Wolfson Medical Center through SACH, for evaluation and repair of her heart defects. She underwent life-saving heart surgery on May 21, 2019.
“I owe my own life to this incredible NGO, and now they saved my baby. I owe them my happiness.”
Fatma and Balkis returned home healthy and happy. SACH will continue to monitor them during our medical missions to Zanzibar.
Fatma and Balkis were checked and both are doing great medically and in general. Fatma is a happy active little girl. Running around, dancing and singing songs with words she is making up. Fatma's story was also featured at AIPAC's policy conference in 2020.