NORFOLK--Nine-year-old Elie Maeva stole everyone's heart while at CHKD for heart surgery.
Elie and four-year-old Andy are in Norfolk from Haiti through the organization, "Partners in Health" to receive lifesaving heart surgeries.
Nadeje Auguste is their interpreter and she communicates with CHKD's pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Alexander Ellis.
"That's beautiful, the aortic valve," Dr. Ellis said as he looked at Andy's echo-cardiogram.
Dr. Ellis was part of the team that patched the hole in Andy's heart and fixed the atrial septal defect that enlarged the right side of Elie's heart.
"What Dr. Felix Tsai did was close the ventricle completely," Ellis explains.
The surgery extended Elie's life past the estimated 16-years-old.
The surgeries that happen everyday at CHKD are never heard of in Haiti. Elie's mother didn't want her name included for fear of being found on the internet because she said In her neighborhood, they believe birth defects are a result of voodoo.
According to Dr. Ellis, "They have basic issues with clean water. Congenital heart disease isn't even on their radar in Haiti. She will have kids. It is truly life changing for her."
The childrens' parents couldn't believe that just a week after their surgeries, their children were actively playing with Dr. Ellis' kids.
"We went to the Portsmouth Childrens Museum and they were running and playing. It's different from any adult who had heart surgery," said Elie's mother. "Since the surgery she's playing normally."
The kids had their last checkup Tuesday, before they head back to Haiti, three weeks after open-heart surgery.
Elie doesn't want to leave the comfort of Ronald McDonald house. "I loves the Caucasian people and I love the toys," she said.
The staff assures her she will always be welcome especially after Elie becomes the doctor she promises to become.
The two surgeries are estimated to cost a total of $175,000.