Condition: Pulmonary Hypertension
City, State: OR
Club: Oak Grove Elementary School Sparrow Club Service Hours: 425
Date Adopted: 2/01/2012
Alvaro's Story:Alvaro Ramirez was born on December 14, 2007. Shortly after birth, doctors knew that something was seriously wrong. The bottoms of Alvaro’s feet were purple and his oxygen levels were very low. Doctors discovered that Alvaro’s heart was having trouble pumping blood to his lungs. As a result, little Alvaro underwent open heart bypass surgery at just two weeks old in an attempt to correct the problem.
Today, Alvaro Ramirez is a sweet, sensitive, and affectionate 4-year-old boy, who lives with a very serious condition called “pulmonary hypertension.” This condition occurs when there is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, which makes the heart need to work harder than normal. As pressure builds in his lungs, it makes it harder and harder for Alvaro to breathe. He often struggles to take breaths and tires out very quickly. Alvaro is on three medications (which he takes daily) for this condition, which doctors hope will work well enough to avoid another surgery.
Alvaro’s family travels to the Children’s Hospital at Stanford, in Northern California, every three months so specialists can run tests and monitor Alvaro’s condition. Doctors say that if Alvaro’s condition does not improve in the future, he may eventually need a lung and heart transplant.
Alvaro loves all things superheroes, loves animals, and spends a lot of time playing with his big brother Alexes, who is very excited that his own school, Oak Grove Elementary, will be adopting Alvaro as their Sparrow. Money raised by students at Oak Grove, through community service and fundraising projects will help Alvaro’s family pay for medical and travel expenses to Stanford and will also help offset the cost of basic living expenses during this difficult time.
The Oak Grove Sparrow Club is made possible by club co-sponsors, Ellie George, with Team Home Source Keller Williams, and Francis Chaney.