Monday, May 20, 2013
PORTLAND — A 12-year-old boy from El Salvador is slated to be the third child to have heart surgery in Maine through the international Rotary Club program Gift of Life.
Jose David Marroquin Galan has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland with his mother, Rina Galan, since Saturday.
His operation at Maine Medical Center to replace an artery is scheduled for Friday, said Paul Emery, a member of the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club.
Jose David and his mother will be guests at a Rotary Club meeting Tuesday in the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, where the featured speaker will be Robert Raylman, executive director of Gift of Life International.
Since 1974, Gift of Life has arranged for more than 10,000 children worldwide to receive medical care for heart conditions.
Emery decided to bring the program to Maine after hearing the first Gift of Life patient speak at a Rotary convention a couple of years ago.
The state's first two Gift of Life patients were Genesis Lluberes and Daisy Mayi, who were 5 months old and 21 months old, respectively, when they were operated on last spring at Maine Medical Center.
Both girls from the Dominican Republic had a heart condition called tetralogy of fallot, which gave them a life expectancy of three to four years before the surgery.
Their operations, travel and living expenses while in Maine were covered by Maine Medical Center, the Maine Foundation for Cardiac Surgery and the Gift of Life.