An Iranian infant in need of life-saving heart surgery has been granted a waiver to enter the U.S., and Gov. Cuomo has secured legal assistance for her family and said doctors at Mt. Sinai have agreed to perform the much-needed procedure for free.
Fatemah Taghizadeh has been unable to travel to the U.S. for a procedure due to the immigration ban put in place by President Trump last week.
Cuomo told the Daily News that the baby’s family were given boarding documents to come to the U.S. — just as a federal judge in Seattle granted a temporary restraining order halting Trump’s order.
“We will continue to work with the International Refugee Assistance Project to ensure this baby receives the treatment she needs, and fight for those being unfairly shut out of America’s gates by this policy,” Cuomo said.
The law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison agreed to cover the family’s expenses and legal costs, Cuomo said.
Fatemah and her parents were scheduled to meet with doctors at Oregon Health & Science University this weekend.
The family was set to travel to Dubai, en route to the U.S., when Trump signed the order barring visitors and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“Everything was okay. They asked for a lot of paperwork. She got the appointment, February 5, in the morning,” Fatemah’s uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, told KPTV. “All the papers, everything was ready, and just in the last minute they canceled everything.”
Taghizadeh has lived in the U.S for 13 years. He resides in Portland with the young girl’s grandparents, who are U.S. citizens.
According to medical records, Fatemah has structural abnormalities and two holes in her heart.
“Her heart is twisted. Her heart’s working overtime to compensate … and it’s causing more and more damage to her every day that she doesn’t have the surgery,” said attorney amber murray, who was assisting the family’s petition for a visa waiver.
“I am pleased to announce that the world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgical team at mount sinai hospital, who has extensive experience in managing patients with this condition, has generously offered to provide the surgery and medical care at no cost to the family,” Cuomo said.