comscore Iranian baby will be allowed into U.S. for life-saving surgery | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Iranian baby will be allowed into U.S. for life-saving surgery

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he worked with the International Refugee Assistance Project to help secure a government visa waiver of Trump’s order.

NEW YORK >> New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that an Iranian infant banned from entering the United States for life-saving heart surgery under President Donald Trump’s executive order will now be allowed to travel for the emergency procedure.

The family had an appointment in Dubai to get a tourist visa, but it was abruptly canceled earlier this week after Trump announced his executive order on immigration banning travel to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran. Four-month-old Fatemeh Reshad was forced to return home.

Iranian doctors told the child’s parents weeks ago that she needed at least one urgent surgery — and maybe several — to correct serious heart defects, or she will die, according to her uncle, Samad Taghizadeh, a U.S. citizen who lives in Portland.

Cuomo said Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Medical Center had offered to perform the critical surgery, but the family finally chose to do it in Portland, Ore., both because of the hospital’s pediatric cardiology expertise and proximity to the baby’s uncle and grandparents.

“This evening we were pleased to learn that the federal government has now granted Fatemeh Reshad and her family boarding documents to come to the United States,” the governor said in a statement. “We will continue to work with the International Refugee Assistance Project and their partners to ensure this baby receives the treatment she needs, and fight for those being unfairly shut out of America’s gates by this policy.”

Cuomo said he worked with the organization to help secure a government visa waiver of Trump’s order.

“Bizarrely, the federal ban would prevent this child from receiving medical care and literally endanger her life,” Cuomo said. “It is repugnant to all we believe as Americans and as members of the human family.”

Doctors in Iran sent the results of an echocardiogram and other records that show Fatemeh has structural abnormalities and two holes in her heart, said Jennifer Morrissey, a Portland attorney helping with the case. She said the infant is expected in Portland early next week.

The issue is time, Taghizadeh told the AP. “She’s in an emergency situation and if it takes a long time, they’re going to lose her.”

Comments (2)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up