Healing Hearts For Valentine’s Day

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The Rachel Cooper Foundation for Pediatric Cardiology celebrates this year’s Valentines Day by sponsoring their 775th “Heal-A-Heart” life saving surgery at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). Four year old Ashli Elizabeth Amador Rodas was suffering from a life threatening congenital heart defect. She and her mother, Fany, traveled from Honduras to the Bronx, NY with the help and support of our partners from the Rotary “Gift of Life” program. Her heart defect was corrected this week and she is resting comfortable, regaining her strength and anxious to be able to play like any other healthy four year old.

The Rachel Cooper Foundation for Pediatric Cardiology celebrates this year’s Valentines Day by sponsoring their 775th “Heal-A-Heart” life saving surgery at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). Four year old Ashli Elizabeth Amador Rodas was suffering from a life threatening congenital heart defect. She and her mother, Fany, traveled from Honduras to the Bronx, NY with the help and support of our partners from the Rotary “Gift of Life” program. Her heart defect was corrected this week and she is resting comfortable, regaining her strength and anxious to be able to play like any other healthy four year old.

The “Heal-A-Heart Program” is the centerpiece of the Rachel Cooper Foundation’s commitment to save the lives of children born with congenital heart defects. It was inspired by the need to provide life saving open heart surgery to children from around the world who are born in nations that lack the skilled surgeons and the advanced medical facilities to correct their congenital heart defects. Without surgical intervention, these children are destined to suffer through childhood with severely impaired health and the certainty of a short life span.

The Rachel Cooper Foundation was born out of tragedy, the loss of 12 year old Rachel. In an effort to help prevent others from suffering the agony of losing a child and to perpetuate Rachel’s name and the light she brought to the world, her parents, family and friends established the Rachel Cooper Foundation for Pediatric Cardiology.

On the foundations website, RachelCooperFoundation.org, you will find important recommendations for parents on keeping their children heart healthy and fighting obesity, a major cause of heart disease in children and adults, as well as, information about the foundation’s other major programs. They include:

The establishment of the Rachel Cooper Foundation Pediatric Heart Center at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore was one the foundations early projects. When plans were announced to build the new state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital we were invited to provide support for the establishment of a pediatric heart center in exchange for it being named for Rachel. We contributed one million dollars to that effort.

The “Day of a Thousand Smiles” is the highlight of the year for the Rachel Cooper Foundation. Each October we invite 1000 handicapped and underprivileged children to be our guests for a fun filled day at the Big Apple Circus in Lincoln Center. Some of the children are severely handicapped, some of them are wheel chair bound but that doesn’t prevent them from laughing at the clowns and cheering wildly for the many exciting acts at this world-class circus. The smile on their faces and the joy in their hearts demonstrates the power and beauty of giving.

To learn more about these and our other programs visit our website at: http://rachelcooperfoundation.org/index.html .

To help support this important work of saving the lives of children you can make a donation at http://rachelcooperfoundation.org/donate.html, write to us at 1-800-299-7613 .

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Stan Turetsky
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