Mohammed Amermouche was born with a deadly heart defect, but a new surgical procedure developed at the University of Minnesota's Children's Hospital may save his life.
Amermouche was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means the left side of the heart is unable to pump blood to the rest of the body, according to the Pioneer Press.
The new procedure, administered by Dr. Daniel Gruenstein, director of pediatric interventional cardiology, involves three procedures performed over several months that reconstruct the heart, the Pioneer Press reports.
An older procedure called the Norwood operation involves open-heart surgery just a few days after birth, but complications after surgery (a 20 percent death rate) made it an unpopular choice for Amermouche's family.
They decided to go for the U's latest procedure, and so far, Amermouche has seen improvement, the Pioneer Press reports.
Critics of the new procedure claim it only delays the heart reconstruction process.
To read the full article, go to http://www.twincities.com/health/ci_7566289
The Pioneer Press article written by Suzanne Sobotka is a fairly balanced story exploring the benefits and criticisms of a new heart procedure for new-born children. Amermouche's story really directs the reader into the theme of the story and helps us connect emotionally. Without it, the news in the article may not have seemed as immediate or as interesting. When I emailed Sobotka on her approach to covering feature stories, I was surprised to learn that she is a journalism student at the U of M taking the Pioneer Press practicum course. She received a press release from Fairview explaining the new procedure. There were some conflicts with communicating with the Amermouche family because they were not fluent in English. Sobotka overcame this obstacle through the help of one of her fellow students who spoke Spanish. Sobotka also admits she did not do a lot of background research on the subject. She interviewed Dr. Gruenstein and recorded all the information from him. It just goes to show that journalists are not omnisicient, and it's our job to report on behalf of the people.