Infant from Puerto Rico has lifesaving surgery in Oak Lawn

OAK LAWN, Ill. (WLS) -- A baby from Puerto Rico is alive thanks to doctors in suburban Oak Lawn.

She was awaiting surgery on the island when Hurricane Maria hit, forcing the family to come to Chicago.

It is the story of what parents will do for their children.
Little Soreyl Davila was born last May with a congenital heart defect where the walls that separate the chambers of the heart had not properly formed.

Surgery to correct the defect must be done before the age of six months. It was scheduled as both Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico.

Her parents, Rojelio and Sylvia, knew they had to get out of Puerto Rico and get to Chicago where Rojelio has a sister.

"We didn't think about it, we just made that decision," said Regelio through an interpreter.

They had insurance, but needed help. Through social media, a pediatric cardiologist at Advocate Christ Oak Lawn heard their cry for help.

"I was able to connect with her pediatrician through text messages, because all the phone lines were down in Puerto Rico. And we were able to contact the family, and then we arranged to bring her here in order to schedule her surgery," said pediatric cardiologist Dr. Melissa Nater.

Nater saw Soreyl on November 16 and saw her through a successful AV canal procedure on November 27 with the help of surgeons Andrew Van Bergen and Michel Ilbawi.

The surgery worked and she's doing well now.

The mother said through a translator that she is grateful and blessed.

The family was also adopted by Chicago's First Church of the Nazarene. The church congregation helped support the family, including collecting contributions to buy them a car.

"They are doing everything they can to make sure their daughter has the best life possible," said Chicago First Church of the Nazerene Pastor Brady Thelander. "We have been blessed as much or more than they have just from our relationship."

Regelio got a job with Wal-Mart in November.

"I feel happy and proud and I am just for has been a complete blessing to me," said Sylvia Mirailh through an interpreter.

The family is currently living Humboldt Park and is incredibly grateful for the Chicago community.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.