Once I was a patient – now I volunteer

For the past 19 years Dr. Novick and I have shared a unique bond. I was born in Kazakhstan and was diagnosed with congenital heart defect at age 2. When I met Dr. Novick, I was 11 years old, my health condition was very poor and my local doctors predicted that I had about six months left to live. On September 21, 1995 Dr. Novick and his team performed the long needed heart surgery. They literally saved my life!!!

While a nursing student, I reconnected with Dr. Novick. Imagine my joy when he invited me to join him on a medical mission trip to Russia!!! I tell you, life is full of surprises and miracles only if you are open for them. And now, I work as a Pediatric ICU nurse and frequently travel with Dr. Novick and his team. Nobody could’ve imagined that!

As a former patient, I can say for a fact, that when all of you save a life through your support of Dr. Novick and his team, you are not only saving the life of an individual, but you are also saving someone’s child, parent, sister, and friend. You are saving dreams, you are saving futures, you are saving an array of possibilities that no one could anticipate. I truly believe that children whose lives are saved by Dr. Novick and the Novick Cardiac Alliance will never forget these gifts and sooner or later, they will release their own gifts into the world.

Once again, thank you for everything which you have done for me, Dr. Novick. I wish you and your organization to continue your amazing work and save the lives of those children in need. God Bless you!

Dilya Cleveland