HEALTH

U.S. surgeons perform miracles in cash-strapped Venezuela
Transplant surgery is practically a miracle in Venezuela, where an economic crisis makes even needles and acetaminophen scarce.
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In this May 9, 2015 photo, a doctor places Yin Carlos Fernandez's diseased liver in a container after being remove at Caracasâ Policlinica Metropolitana in Venezuela. Once the surgery was underway, about a dozen medical professionals led by Dr. Pedro Rivas-Vetencourt extracted the childâs mottled liver while Dr. Tomoaki Kato, heading a similar team, spliced a 400-gram (almost 1 pound) portion of his fatherâs healthy organ. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, Gilda Velasquez holds a prayer book and prays as she lies on a bench at the clinic's waiting room, while her son undergoes a liver transplant at Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana, in Venezuela. Yin's father Jean Carlos Fernandez donated part of his liver. Hours before checking into the hospital last month to donate part of his liver to his son, Jean Carlos Fernandez recounted the last two hellish years. Yin made multiple visits to the emergency room, frequently missed school and the family had to sell their home in the eastern city of Maturin to pay for overnight bus trips to the capital for exams to investigate why the boys liver was scarring. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, Dr. Tomoaki Kato of New Yorks Columbia University Medical Center works on Yin Carlos' liver transplant at Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana, in Venezuela. The Japanese-born physician says that he and Venezuelan Dr. Pedro Rivas-Vetencourt have now performed 50 pediatric transplants with living donors in the South American country, gradually building a large team of medical professionals. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 8, 2015 photo, six-year-old Yin Carlos Fernandez rests at relative's house before he goes to Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana for a liver transplant, in Venezuela. For any family touched by liver disease, an organ transplant represents a rare second chance of life. But this being Venezuela, where an economic crisis has made scarce even basic medical supplies such as acetaminophen and needles, the task of savings childrens lives is even more of a miracle. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, Venezuelan Dr. Pedro Rivas Vetencourt, second from left, accompanied by three other doctors works on a giving Yin Carlos Fernandez at a new liver at Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana in Venezuela. Dr. Rivas-Vetencourt and Dr. Tomoaki Kato of New Yorks Columbia University Medical Center have now performed 50 pediatric transplants with living donors in the South American country, gradually building a large team of medical professionals. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, nurses try to get a glimpse of Yin Carlos' liver transplant procedure at Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana, in Venezuela. In Venezuela, currently known more for a health care crisis rather than state-of-the-art medicine, the difficulties are even more pronounced. Some hospitals, including the once-prestigious public University Hospital in Caracas, have had to suspend all surgeries. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, Gilda Velasquez leans over her son Yin Carlos as he falls asleep under the effects of a powerful sedative and a catchy cartoon jingle playing on a hand-held TV, minutes before undergoing a liver transplant surgery at the Policlinica Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela. Remember, youre a Christian, youre a Christian, she repeats amid her tears to Yin Carlos as orderlies wheel the 6-year-old into the operating room where he will get a new liver. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 22, 2015 photo, Gilda Velasquez hold her son Yin Carlos, just 13 days after he underwent a liver transplant surgery at Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana, in Venezuela. Yin is expected to make a full recovery. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 22, 2015 photo, Gilda Velasquez hold her son Yin Carlos, just 13 days after he underwent a liver transplant surgery at Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana, in Venezuela. Yin is expected to make a full recovery. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, Yin Carlos Fernandez lies anesthetized and prepped for surgery at the Policlinica Metropolitanain in Caracas, Venezuela. Yin's father donated part of his liver so that his son might live. Before the operation,Yin, his stomach bloated and skin jaundiced from liver disease, seemed oblivious to the pending 12-hour ordeal. The shy, soft-spoken boy practiced writing the alphabet in a notebook and said he wanted a pinata for his July birthday. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 8, 2015 photo, six-year-old Yin Carlos is held in his father's, Jean Carlos Fernandez arms before they depart to Caracas Policlinica Metropolitana for a liver transplant in Caracas, Venezuela. Jean Carlos will donate part of his liver to save his son's life. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 9, 2015 photo, Yin Carlos smiles at his father, Jean Carlos Fernandez, and his mother Gilda Velasquez while being put under the effects of a powerful sedative, minutes before a liver transplant surgery at the Policlinica Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela. Doctors performing the transplant say that patients have a one-year survival rate of over 90 percent , which is similar to outcomes in the U.S. After that, the risk of infection or complications falls dramatically and most recipients go on to lead healthy, long lives. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

U.S. surgeons perform miracles in cash-strapped Venezuela

Transplant surgery is practically a miracle in Venezuela, where an economic crisis makes even needles and acetaminophen scarce.

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