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Iranian infant arrives at OHSU in time for lifesaving surgery

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) – A four-month-old Iranian girl is back on track for a heart surgery meeting at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) after her family had to postpone a planned flight to Oregon over President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Baby Fatemeh Reshad and her mother arrived in Portland early Tuesday morning. Physicians at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital say the infant’s initial diagnostic studies are promising, and she arrived in time to have the lifesaving surgery.

Doctors in Iran recently discovered the girl had a heart condition during one of her routine checkups. If the condition is left untreated it would be fatal.

The girl’s uncle and grandparents live in Portland. They helped her mother schedule an appointment at OHSU and translate the necessary visa paperwork to make the trip.

Fatemeh and her mother flew to Dubai on Jan. 28, only to learn they could not make the connecting flight to the United States.

Iran is one of seven countries included in President Trump’s executive order on travel restrictions. Since then, a Washington judge halted its implementation. The federal government also granted a waiver that allows her family to complete the journey.

RELATED | Waiver granted for Iranian infant in need of surgery, she'll fly to Portland

"Fatemeh looks well. Our tests this morning have confirmed her diagnosis and the urgent need for treatment,” said Laurie Armsby, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and interim head, Division of Pediatric Cardiology. "As we suspected, her heart condition has resulted in injury to her lungs, however the studies today indicate that she has presented to us in time to reverse this process.”

The family would like to thank the public for their outpouring of support for Fatemeh and her story.

"Fatemeh's family ... would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make their trip possible. The family would like to give special thanks to the congressional delegations and governors of Oregon and New York," an OHSU spokesperson said.

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