Press Release

8-Year-Old Girl from Haiti Receives Life-Saving Christmas Gift at St. Francis Hospital

December 20th, 2018

ROSLYN, New York, December 21, 2018- Her mother says 8-year-old Hamanda Mirline Maignan loves to run and jump rope, but a severe narrowing in one of her heart valves  prevented her from playing without feeling tired and out of breath. Now, Hamanda can play like most girls her age in Haiti after receiving a minimally invasive procedure at St. Francis Hospital to correct the heart condition she suffered from since birth.

 “Christmas is a very special time at St. Francis – a time to celebrate life, the greatest gift of all. Hamanda is living proof of this,” says Charles L. Lucore, M.D., M.B.A., President of St. Francis.

Hamanda suffered from a congenital condition known as pulmonary valve stenosis. It caused the blood flow through her pulmonary valve to be severely restricted, resulting in a reduction of blood flow to her lungs.

“This could have been taken care of seven and half years ago if Hamanda had been diagnosed here in the U.S., but unfortunately she didn’t have access to state-of-the-art medical care in her own country,” says Sean Levchuck, M.D., Chairman of Pediatric Cardiology at St. Francis. Dr. Levchuck donated his services to correct Hamanda’s debilitating condition. Using a balloon catheter inserted through a blood vessel in her leg, he was able to open the obstructed valve in her heart.

Thanks to humanitarian efforts by the Gift of Life, Inc., St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, and the Nicholas J. Vizza Fund, Hamanda was able to receive the life-saving procedure. It proved to be a life-changing experience for some of the students who sponsored her after the aspiring MDs were able to actually observe the procedure.

Hamanda’s mother Silphana says this is a Christmas her daughter will never forget. Not only did she see snow for the very first time and meet Santa at St. Francis, she can finally look forward to playing with her three sisters without feeling out of breath.

Contact: Rosemary Gomez, 516-563-7965, 718-744-4289,



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