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“The question came out, was this an effect of Chernobyl? And I said, well, the Ukrainians coined the phrase ‘Chernobyl Heart’ for this defect, and they think it’s directly related to long-term exposure to radiation.” — Dr. William Novick, cardiac surgeon<br />
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Olya Podoprigora, 13, and 18-month-old Parvana Sulemanova recover in the intensive care unit one day after open-heart surgeries. The free surgery was provided during a medical mission sponsored by Chernobyl Children International (CCI). Every year, 6,000 children in Ukraine are born with genetic heart disease. At least half will not get the surgery they need to survive and will die, reports CCI. Yet these aortic defects may not be caused by the Chernobyl aftermath. Doctors don’t really know what causes these heart defects, explains surgeon Chris Gilbert. Most believe the reasons are both genetic and environmental. <br />
Audio: Chris Gilbert performs an open-heart surgery.<br />
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This photograph is part the book of Would You Stay?, by Michael Forster Rothbart, published by TED Books in 2013. The photos come from Forster Rothbart’s two long-term documentary photography projects, After Chernobyl and After Fukushima.<br />
© Michael Forster Rothbart 2007-2013.<br />
www.afterchernobyl.com<br />
www.mfrphoto.com • 607-267-4893 • 607-436-2856 <br />
34 Spruce St, Oneonta, NY 13820<br />
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info@mfrphoto.com<br />
Photo by: Michael Forster Rothbart<br />
Date:  6/2009    File#:  Canon 5D digital camera frame 67543<br />
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“The question came out, was this an effect of Chernobyl? And I said, well, the Ukrainians coined the phrase ‘Chernobyl Heart’ for this defect, and they think it’s directly related to long-term exposure to radiation.” — Dr. William Novick, cardiac surgeon

Olya Podoprigora, 13, and 18-month-old Parvana Sulemanova recover in the intensive care unit one day after open-heart surgeries. The free surgery was provided during a medical mission sponsored...
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