ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two girls from Russia had their hearts mended on Long Island through the Russian Gift of Life program.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Katya Lebedeva, 15, and Anastasia Bakhtiarova, 10, are from the same small village in Russia. They were both given only a few more years to live because of congenital heart defects.
Through the Gift of Life program, the young ladies had successful surgeries and now say they have big plans for the future.
“First thing I’m going to do is play volleyball and ski,” Anastasia said through an interpreter. “It’s a lot easier to breathe.”
This was Katya’s third surgery to close the hole in her heart. The prior two in Russia were unsuccessful.
Dr. Sean Levchuck of St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn performed the surgeries using a catheter-based device to spare the girls from going through open-heart surgery.
“I’ve never felt this good in my life,” Katya said through an interpreter. “Without him, I would live only another four years.”
At Friday’s event, the girls were presented with gifts because they can now pursue their interests thanks to the surgery.
Anastasia was given a soccer ball and Katya was given ballet slippers.
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