Girl from Mongolia comes to Houston for heart procedure

Sarangoo Menjargal, 11, traveled all the way to Texas from Mongolia just to get proper treatment for a heart defect she has.

"She's very grateful for everyone that helped her, the surgery went very well, she doesn't have any pain, she is healthy now," says her translator Sarnai Badamdorj.

Sarangoo suffers from something called atrial septal defect, which is essentially a large hole in her heart. When doctors in her hometown couldn't treat her, they looked elsewhere for help.

"They found the defect and then ultimately they found Heart Gift," says Dr. John Breinholt, UT Health cardiologist with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"This surgery just would not be available to them in Mongolia, they would of had to leave Mongolia for her heart to be prepared," says Rachael Wright, executive director of Heart Gift Houston.

Through about $25,000 in donations, the organization Heart Gift was able to send her to Houston and pay for her much needed procedure.

"In this case we go in through the vein of the leg and we go up into the heart and we can measure and determine what the defect looks like and whether or not we can close it that way, we have devices that can collapse into these catheters and they come out to the right time where we can position them in the hole, once we are happy with what it looks like we release them and then take everything else out", says Dr. Breinholt.

Days after the surgery she is up and walking around. Playing with her host family and their kids, preparing for a much healthier, happy life when she returns home on July 9th.

"It's neat to have them over, staying with us and giving my kids an opportunity to experience another culture as well," says host father Ben Wheeler.