Iranian Baby Gets Waiver to Come to US for Heart Surgery

A 4-year-month Iranian girl who was supposed to have life-saving heart surgery at a hospital in Portland, Oregon, until she was barred from entering the country under President Trump's travel ban, could soon arrive for treatment, after the administration issued a waiver for her to travel, doctors and the family's attorney said.

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"We're trying to get her here as quickly as possible," family attorney Jennifer Morrissey said today during a news conference at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. "The flight details are being worked out right now. But we hope that she'll be here in the next several days."

She said the family of Fatemah Rashad and her family will be allowed to travel to Oregon for the emergency procedure. They have been advised to travel to Abu Dhabi for pre-clearance by the Department of Homeland Security and then to enter the United States, Morrissey said.

Dr. Laurie Armsby, a pediatric cardiologist at Doernbecher said the little girl was born with a very rare and complex form of congenital heart disease that affects about two in 10,000 newborns.

"This child coming here to Portland where their grandparents live and where their uncle lives will give the child a chance to be supported by the family," Dr. Dana Braner, the head physician of Doernbecher Children's Hospital said.

Doctors in Iran were able to send the results of an echocardiogram and other records that show Fatemah has structural abnormalities and two holes in her heart, Morrissey said.

New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday night that a waiver had been granted to Fatemah and her family for them to come to the U.S. The waiver was apparently issued before U.S. District Judge James Robart placed a nationwide, temporary restraining order on Trump's executive action on immigrants and refugees.

Cuomo said that Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City had offered to perform the surgery at no cost to the family, but after the announcement, the baby's uncle, Samad Taghizadeh, a U.S. resident who lives in Oregon, told ABC affiliate KATU-TV News that the family will come to Portland to have the surgery at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

According to KATU-TV, Armsby said that in the U.S., a baby born with the same condition would most likely be treated within the first week of being born and would be in intensive care for about a week. Fatemah's care will be more complicated, she said, because the baby wasn't treated immediately, and her recovery is expected to take a few months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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