2 Russian boys, born with holes in hearts, flown to Long Island for life-changing surgery

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Stacey Sager has the latest details.

Two 5-year-old boys from Russia, born with holes in their hearts, traveled to Long Island for life-changing surgery.

And it was a group of high school students who helped bring them here.

Their doctor's embrace and a mother's tears of relief spoke volumes at St. Francis Hospital.

The look on her face broke right through the language barrier, after her son, 5-year-old Krill Polianski, and another 5-year-old boy, Artem Sarafanov, traveled all the way from Russia for a very quick, but life-changing procedure to repair the hole in each of their hearts.

"It only takes about 25 minutes, it's quick and easy, but here are they are," said Dr. Sean Levchuck of St. Francis Pediatric Cardiology.

Russia's national health plan would've only paid for open heart surgery, which would have carried unnecessary risk. And so an organization called Gift of Life International arranged this, and the Interact Club at Manhasset High School, raised $10,000 to pay for it.

In a video, you can see the two students lucky enough to observe the procedure.

"I wanna be a surgical nurse and Isabelle wants to be a doctor and it's just like a great experience to actually see what's going on, never thought I'd be able to do something like this," said Grace Catlett.

Artem and Kiriill didn't even know each other prior to this, but their moms told us they agreed on how to explain it all.

"You're gonna come for a procedure, they're gonna put a mask on you. You're gonna be like a pilot and take off," said Michael Yurieff of Russian Gift of Life.

Which was particularly exciting after their first plane ride! Their moms are just grateful for receiving what they call, their one in a million chance - given all the bureaucracy back home.

And even though these fast friends speak hardly any English, they said enough.."Thank you very much!!", said Artem. To let everyone know, they feel great.
Related Topics:
healthhealthmedicalheart defectslong island newsRoslyn
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