GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Just a few weeks ago, 20-month-olds Suvdaa Munkhbayar and Sukhbat Batzaya wouldn’t have the energy to play, have fun and learn about their environment.
Both were born with heart defects which required surgery that they didn’t have access to in their home country of Mongolia.
Suvdaa had a hole in the bottom wall of her heart. Sukhbat also had a hole, and he had a blockage in the artery to his lungs.
“If he hadn’t gotten [surgery], he’d probably not have survived past four or five years old,” Dr. Charles Sang, pediatric cardiologist, said.
International relief organization Samaritan’s Purse and its Children’s Heart Project connected the children’s respective families with Vidant Medical Center and the Brody School of Medicine.
The two families arrived in late October to stay with a host family in Cove City during the surgeries.
“When I arrived, I met with American people and they’re so hospitable and polite,” Nyamka Davaasuren, Sukhbat’s mother, said through a translator.
Ainslie Guion hosted the two children’s families.
“It’s a huge blessing,” Guion said. “You get to become close friends with someone from the opposite side of the world.”
Dr. Sang said the children are progressing well.
“They’ve done great. They didn’t stay in the hospital less than a week and they both went home and they’ve done very well,” Dr. Sang said.
Suvdaa and Sukhbat are the 33rd and 34th Children’s Heart Project patients treated at Vidant Medical Center.