9-year-old Ukrainian girl will have life saving heart surgery on LI after fleeing Russian invasion

NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- A 9-year-old girl from Ukraine, unable to get life changing heart surgery in her homeland because of the war with Russia, is now on Long Island.

Polina Shchepaniak is preparing for that operation next month at St. Francis Hospital in the Nassau County village of Roslyn.

She has a hole in her heart, and the doctors who will fix her, are giving a gift of life.

Shchepaniak is the first patient to be hosted locally by Gift of Life in at least three years because of the pandemic.

The organization Gift of Life has treated 1,241 children from 80 countries since the start of the pandemic, ordinarily that number would be 4 times greater.

Watch Stacey Sager's report in the video player above.



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the pandemic has really slowed these procedures down, but the group isn't giving up. Polina is the first patient to be hosted locally in at least 3 years.. and while the organization trains physicians to do the less invasive procure abroad, numbers have gone down.Gift of Life has treated 1,241 children from 80 countries since the start of the pandemic. Ordinarily, the number. Ugh the 4 times greater than that.
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