Ugandan orphan discharged from hospital

STAFF WRITERMay 19, 2009 

Patrick Kahuma, an orphan from Uganda who was brought to UNC Hospitals for procedures to repair a heart defect, was discharged today after a second procedure successfully patched a hole in his heart.

Kahuma, whose cause was adopted by a Wake Forest family, UNC-CH doctors and dozens of others, lived 18 years in Uganda with a potentially fatal heart defect that hampered his ability to go to school and do other activities.

After groups rallied to raise money to get him to the United States for the life-saving procedures, he underwent cardiac catheterizations Monday at N.C. Children's Hospital. Doctors there enlarged a valve to improve blood flow, and worked to patch a hole in the upper chambers.

The patch, however, slipped, so doctors performed a second procedure late Monday night. By noon today, Kahuma was sent home with Dr. Dirk Hamp and his wife, who two years ago initiated the efforts to help the teenager.

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