Infant set to travel from Iran for heart surgery at OHSU stopped at overseas airport
PORTLAND, Ore. – A four-month-old Iranian girl who was scheduled to fly into Portland for a heart surgery appointment at OHSU next week will have to postpone the procedure after President Donald Trump’s recent immigration order.
The infant, Fatemah, has a heart condition. Her family found out about it at a routine checkup, and her pediatricians say she needs to have surgery soon.
“They said ‘this is a miracle, we don't know how she had lived with the big problem she had.’ Immediately she has to do the surgery,” her uncle, Samad Taghizadeh , told KATU News.
Taghizadeh lives in Portland with Fatemah’s grandparents; they are American citizens. The family chose to have the open-heart surgery at Oregon Health & Science University – which boasts one of the top pediatric cardiology programs in the U.S. – because facilities in Iran do not have the equipment necessary for such a procedure.
Taghizadeh helped translate the visa paperwork and schedule appointments, and his niece was set to meet with doctors at OHSU on February 5.
Fatemah and her mother flew to Dubai on Saturday, which is when they learned they could not make the connecting flight to the United States. Iran is one of seven countries included in President trump’s executive order banning immigration and refugees.
“I go the email and everything was cancelled, we were shocked, I tried to call and send email no one called back,” said Taghizadeh.
Taghizadeh was told to apply for new visa’s in 90 days when the executive order is set to expire, his fear is that Fatemah doesn’t have that long. Instead he says he is hoping for a miracle.