Mazen, an eleven-year-old boy from Gaza, is the 6,000th child saved by Save a Child’s Heart.

Mazen suffered from shortness of breath immediately after birth. At one month old, he was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta (COA) and a ventricular septal defect (VSD). COA, a critical heart defect, is a narrowing of the aorta, the large blood vessel that brings oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. A VSD is a hole in the heart, a common congenital heart defect. 

The hole occurs in the wall (septum) that separates the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles) and allows blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart. The oxygen-rich blood from the left side intended for distribution throughout the body then gets pumped back to the lungs instead of out to the body, causing the heart to work harder. 

Mazen underwent surgery to correct the COA shortly after his birth, and underwent another life-saving cardiac catheterization at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel on December 1, 2021.

Mazen returned home to his family in December, 2021 He will be monitored by a local cardiologist and the Save a Child’s Heart team on an ongoing basis.