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Buyanbaatar – Age 6 – Mongolia

Buyanbaatar – otherwise known as Buyka – lives in the South Gobi Province of Mongolia with his family in the countryside in a traditional ger, a round felt tent covered in durable, waterproof, white canvas. After several lengthy hospital stays and bouts of severe respiratory illness, he was diagnosed with a hole between the upper chambers of his heart, also called an atrial septal defect (ASD). Unfortunately, the necessary specialized treatment for his congenital heart defect was not available for the six-year-old. So HeartGift stepped in.

Buyka and his mother, Enkhzaya, trekked more than 7,000 miles to Houston to start his HeartGift medical journey. After an extremely successful procedure, the 6-year-old got to ride horses with the Houston Mounted Police, ride in a police car, see the City of Houston from the 59th floor of a Downtown skyscraper, and eat ice cream!

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