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Iranian Baby Banned From Trump's Travel Ban Arrived In US For Life-Saving Surgery

Update Date: Feb 09, 2017 07:10 AM EST
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An infant that needed a life-saving heart surgery was temporarily banned from coming to the US by President Donald Trump's immigration orders. After the ban, the Iranian infant and his family arrived on Tuesday at a Portland hospital.

Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad's parents were told that she needed at least one urgent surgery to correct serious heart defects. Fatemeh's uncle, Samad Taghizadeh, a US citizen and resident of Portland shared that Iranian doctors said it was extremely necessary for her to get surgery or she will die.

The family set out to Dubai for an appointment to get a tourist visa. Unfortunately, it was canceled after Trump's executive order that banned entry to people from seven countries with Muslim majorities.

A judge from Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on the ban. Dr. Laurie Armsby, interim head of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital said their tests have confirmed the baby's diagnosis and the urgent need for treatment. U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, helped in getting the waiver for the baby's family, as were New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and immigration attorneys.

The Guardian reported the waiver was granted last week. Amber Murray, the family's attorney said Fatemeh's condition required quick surgery that convinced her parents to seek treatment in the US. Fetemeh would have a 20 to 30 percent chance of success with surgery in Iran. The family chose Portland because it was the nearest to their relatives and of the know expertise in treatment of the heart condition by OHSU doctors.

Portland immigration attorney, Jennifer Morrissey said "This was truly a team effort to beat the clock, given the medical and legal hurdles Fatemeh was facing."

According to US News, the infant's heart condition had resulted in injury to her lungs but there is time to reverse this process said Dr. Armsby. The treatment would begin with a cardiac catheterization, followed by a five to six-hour surgical procedure performed by Dr. Irving Shen, a nationally respected expert on Fatemeh's condition.

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