Pinoy toddler dies in Texas following free heart surgery

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 22, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Dave Gabriel, the two-year-old from Bacolod City, Philippines, who was recently brought by HeartGift Foundation to Houston, Texas so he could undergo free heart surgery, is dead.

Balitang America has confirmed with HeartGift Foundation executive director Rachel Wright that baby Dave has passed away last night.

But for now, Wright and her group have not released the reason why the boy – who suffers from a heart defect – lost his life.

Baby Dave and his mother, Mary Grace, arrived in the United States on July 12 so he could undergo heart surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on July 17.

Members of the Filipino community welcomed the mother and son as they arrived at the Houston airport.

Baby Dave reportedly went through pre-operative visits before his actual surgery, which took longer than expected – about six hours.

His heart was repaired during the surgery and he was recovering at a pediatric intensive care unit prior to his death.

The mother of baby Dave, along with the sponsors, nurses and members of the Filipino community, will have a prayer vigil for the little boy tonight in Sugar Land, Texas.

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