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Three-Year-Old Boy from Bolivia Received Life-Saving Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Columbus, OH - 5/31/2017

Three-year-old Nicolas (Nico) Sempertegui, was born with a complex congenital heart condition. He had multiple ventricular septal defects (VSD), an uncommon type of congenital heart defect, which leaves openings in his septum between the two lower chambers of the heart that can lead to life-limiting damage to the lungs and heart over time.
Unfortunately, Nico’s home country of Bolivia was unable to provide the care he needed. To help, Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization, brought Nicolas to Nationwide Children’s Hospital where a successful operation was performed on May 16 repairing his heart condition back to a normal heart thereby eliminating any damage to his lungs or limitations to his life. 
“We fully expect that Nico, like many children who have corrective surgery for their congenital heart disease, will live a normal, healthy life,” said Mark Galantowicz, MD, chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's.
Samaritan’s Purse’s Children’s Heart Project arranged for Nico, his grandmother and an interpreter to stay with a host family in Galloway. With their help, Nico was able to receive the proper medical attention and is expected to return home on June 12 to Bolivia happy and healthy.
“We are passionate about helping children like Nico who have no hope of receiving treatment without the help of a North American hospital,” said Cindy Bonsall, director of Children’s Heart Project. “We are thankful to Nationwide Children’s, Nicolas’ host family and Cypress Church who partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and volunteered their time to give Nico a chance to live a healthy life.”
About Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 list of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 11,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.2 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at
About Children’s Heart Project
A ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham, Children's Heart Project arranges life-saving operations children who live in countries where the required medical expertise and equipment are not available. Children’s Heart Project has brought more than 1,150 children to North America to receive life-saving heart surgery and treatments currently unavailable in their home countries. The Project screens and identifies children suffering from congenital heart defects in Uganda, Mongolia and Bolivia needing surgery, locates doctors and hospitals in North America willing to donate their medical services, arranges for host families, and accompanies the children, their mothers and an interpreter to North America—furnishing round-trip transportation. To learn more about Children’s Heart Project, visit

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000