HOUSTON, Texas — After years of trying to have a baby, a mother and father from Costa Rica say they finally had their perfect baby boy. But just days after he was born, doctors told them he needed life-saving heart surgery.
The only problem – they’d have to leave the country.
At 7 pounds and 15 ounces, little Arturo was the miracle they’d been waiting for.
“We had been struggling for that long until we got pregnant for Arturo," Catherine Castro said.
Castro and her husband, Jorge, had tried for nearly five years to have a baby, and finally, on November 17, Arturo was born.
“Everything was perfect, the C-section was great, the baby came out strong," Castro said.
They took him home the next day, but a few days later, his doctor noticed a heart murmur and sent them to a cardiologist the next week.
“That’s when the nightmare started," Castro said.
That’s where they got the news they never expected.
“We found out that he had this serious severe heart disease condition. I’m not very good with English words, but I think it’s an aortic stenosis, a severe aortic stenosis," Castro said.
The condition meant Arturo needed heart surgery immediately.
“But the bad news was, there was nothing they could do in Costa Rica for him," Castro said.
The hospital in Costa Rica said they didn’t have the technology for the procedure and Arturo only had a week to live.
“That was the worst news that Jorge and I, any parent can receive in their life, there’s nothing we can do about your baby," Castro said.
With a race against time, mom and dad weren’t giving up. Their doctors got them in touch with Texas Children’s Hospital here in Houston.
“We didn’t have the money, but we wanted to save our baby. So we just moved mountains to get here," Castro said.
And people from all over the globe helped them move those mountains, donating nearly $200,000 through a GoFundMe.
“There’s been angels all over the world, all over the country who have been helping us," Castro said.
They flew to Houston on November 26 and on December 2, at just two weeks old, Arturo got the surgery that saved his life.
“I think what we’re going to tell Arturo is 'Honey, you moved hearts. You moved hearts all over the world,'" Castro said.
Moving hearts, while saving his own.