Kenawak – Age 9 – Ethiopia
Kenawak’s mom knew immediately that there was something was wrong with her baby boy when he was born. He struggled to breathe and would turn blue around his eyes when he cried. Kenawak was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta, a congenital birth defect where a part of the aorta is narrower than usual blocking normal blood flow to the body. At 9-months-old, Kenawak had a procedure in Canada to repair his coarctation using cardiac catheterization. By using this method, he didn’t have to undergo open heart surgery, but the doctors advised his mom that around age ten, Kenawak would most likely need to have another surgery. Fast forward eight years, Kenawak’s family contacted HeartGift and he was accepted for his second procedure. Thanks to the medical team at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Kenawak’s surgery went smoothly and he healed quickly. Afterwards, he went to the beach for the very first time and learned even how to fish! Kenawak has a very bright future ahead of him.