Salvadoran boys hope to 'lead normal lives' after heart surgeries at Barrington hospital

By LINDSAY GLOOREmailFollow

Boys want to 'ride bikes, play soccer' after surgery

BARRINGTON – Two Salvadoran teens hope to lead "normal lives" after surgery to repair their heart conditions next week at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

[LINDSAY GLOOR — lgloor@shawmedia.com]
 
Diego Adolfo Chavez and Jose Vazquez Moran, both 17, had never flown on an airplane prior to flying from their respective cities, Santa Lucia and Ciudad Arce, suburbs of the Salvadoran capital, San Salvador, Thursday to Chicago.
Besides having their ages in common, the teens also share something else – Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
Their hearts each have an "extra pathway" that can lead to supraventricular tachycardia, or episodes of rapid heartbeats. Although the condition is not always life threatening, it prohibits the boys from doing basic things – like eating chocolate or going to scary movies.
 
Moran said he just wants to be able to ride a bike, and Chavez wants to play soccer.
 
[LINDSAY GLOOR — lgloor@shawmedia.com]
 
Diego Adolfo Chavez and Jose Vazquez Moran, both 17, had never flown on an airplane prior to flying from their respective cities, Santa Lucia and Ciudad Arce, suburbs of the Salvadoran capital, San Salvador, Thursday to Chicago.
Besides having their ages in common, the teens also share something else – Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
Their hearts each have an "extra pathway" that can lead to supraventricular tachycardia, or episodes of rapid heartbeats. Although the condition is not always life threatening, it prohibits the boys from doing basic things like eating chocolate or going to scary movies.
 
[LINDSAY GLOOR — lgloor@shawmedia.com]
 
The international nonprofit Healing the Children tries to bring four children each year to the Barrington hospital to receive treatment for conditions that cause heart arrhythmias like the boys'.
“We bring kids here for surgeries they couldn’t get at home,” Jeff Degner, HTC's Illinois-Indiana chapter president said.
Chavez and Moran are staying with Liz Schauer and her husband in Barrington, while they undergo their respective procedures and recover.
“We aren’t ready to have kids yet, but we have extra bedrooms,” Schauer said. “It seemed like a great opportunity.”
The boys left their homes in El Salvador, which have electricity but no plumbing, in 86-degree weather. They arrived to 26-degree weather, Degner said.
Barrington chapters of Rotary International donated coats, hats and shoes so the two could better adjust to the drastic temperature change, Monique Jungel, a member of the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, said.