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Three Salvadorian Teens Arrive at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital for Heart Procedures

Barrington, IL – Just a few days ago, 14 year old Jose, 16 year old Jasmine and 14 year old Cecilia arrived from El Salvador at O’Hare on an international flight amidst the chilly June Chicago temperatures for much needed cardiac care this Thursday and Friday.  

Once they are settled with host foster families in Arlington Heights, Elmhurst and Lake in the Hills, they will be seen for initial testing and procedures by Raymond Kawasaki MD a cardiac electrophysiologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.  Each of these three children suffers from an arrhythmia which is a problem with the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body which can damage the brain, heart, and other organs.  Symptoms could include weakness, dizziness, light-headedness; shortness of breath or chest pain. 

“We will be doing a procedure called an electrophysiology study with catheter ablation where we insert thin electrode catheters into blood vessels which are then guided to the heart,” said Dr. Kawasaki.  “We then identify the abnormal heart tissue which is causing the arrhythmia and destroy it by applying heat or freezing energy through one of these catheters. Once this is done, the patient can be cured of their arrhythmia.” 

This medical mission was arranged in partnership with the non-profit organization called Healing the Children, a charity devoted to matching children in need from countries lacking available medical treatment, with physicians and hospitals in the U.S. with the capabilities to help, and the willingness to donate their services. Healing the Children also organizes medical missions to third world countries where U.S. doctors and nurses treat dozens and dozens of needy children.

 “We anticipate these three children can be treated for their abnormal heart rhythms and hope to give them an opportunity to live a normal life,” explained Dr. Kawasaki.   

 Jeff Degner, director of the Illinois/Indiana branch of Healing the Children, said of the physicians and technologies at Good Shepherd Hospital’s cardiac center, “Both the hospital and Dr. Kawasaki volunteering their services to help these children is a wonderful blessing.”

About Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois is a 169-bed acute care hospital with more than 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties. It is part of Advocate Health Care, named one of the Top Ten hospital systems in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters.  Good Shepherd has been named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics. Good Shepherd was the only hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area to receive this recognition. Advocate is a faith-based organization that exists to serve its communities. Advocate contributed $571 million in charitable care and services to communities across Chicagoland and Central Illinois in 2012. For more about Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, visit


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