ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – An 8-year-old girl is celebrating a second chance of life on Long Island.
Hamanda Maignan, who is from Haiti, met Santa at a party thrown by her doctors at The Heart Center at St. Francis Hospital. The medical team that treated her heart defect was also there.
Hamanda suffered from pulmonary valve stenosis, resulting in a reduction of blood flow to her lungs. As a result, she couldn’t play sports or jump rope.
“Can Christmas be any better? Is there a message that Christmas can teach us all? Christmas means nothing if we don’t focus on the young. This young woman is like the baby Jesus,” said St. Anthony’s High School Principal Brother Gary Cregan.
“Happy for her, happy for the mom, just happy to see all the people who have extended to themselves to help out in the season of Christmas. This is what Christmas means. And I say she’s my Christmas present. And my husband says she’s our Christmas present,” said Gift of Life sponsor Florence Marc-Charles.
“The valve was about the size a normal newborn would be at. And considering her size, what I do from there, is keep trading up balloons that open up the valve progressively. So we keep going bigger and bigger and bigger, until we get what we call a safe result,” said pediatric cardiologist Dr. Sean Levchuck.
Aspiring doctors from St. Anthony’s in South Huntington were able to observe the surgery and were on hand to join the celebration.