Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s, part of HCA Healthcare’s Continental Division and the HealthONE system, was the center of inspirational local and national media coverage recently as a result of vital surgery they provided at no cost for Sarana B., a 10-month old child from Mongolia.

Sarana was diagnosed during infancy with a large Ventricular Septal Defect, a congenital, and likely fatal, heart condition that was not treatable in her home country.

Following a careful selection process by Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project, a nonprofit organization that arranges life-saving operations for children in need around the world, Sarana, her mother Naragarav, and a translator, Munkhtul, traveled over 6,000 miles from their home in Mongolia to Denver, Colorado for treatment by Dr. Steven Leonard, Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon at RMHC. During their travels, they were accompanied by Karen Hill, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at RMHC who served as a medical escort assisting them as they made their way through three flights and airport customs.

Upon arrival in Denver (and after more than 20 hours of travel), Sarana, Naragarav, Munkhtul, and Karen were greeted by HealthONE board member and host family, Brian Pauls and his wife Diane. In this beautiful show of community support, Brian, also a board member for Samaritan’s Purse, opened his home to Sarana, Naragarav, and Munkhtul. From pre-op through surgery and recovery, the Pauls provided for any and all transportation needs and ensured that Sarana, her mom and translator always felt welcome and received caring attention during their stay.

Sarana’s 5-hour surgery was on Thursday, August 2 and was executed just as Dr. Leonard planned. Six days post-op, Sarana was released back to the Pauls’ home. Dr. Leonard indicated that the surgery he performed is considered curative and that Sarana will now be able to live a normal life.

Sarana will be in Denver until early September when she will return back home to live with her father, mother, grandmother and two siblings in their home in Mongolia.  Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children has been honored to care for Sarana and eager to continue engagement through Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project.

Watch Dr. Leonard and Karen Hill on CNN’s Headline News as they talk about bringing Sarana to the United States and the procedure that saved her life. (HCA internal audience can view the video here.)

HCA 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.