Skip to main content
Locations and phones

Call center 93 253 21 00

Monday to Sunday, from 8 am to 8:30 pm

Scheduling or change of appointment +34 93 253 21 00

Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 7 pm

Private Care - International Patients +34 93 600 97 83

Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 7 pm

SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Passeig Sant Joan de Déu, 2, 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat

How to arrive

Language -

Diego's family travelled over 7,000 kilometres so he could undergo heart surgery

Diego playing at the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Diego, a five-year-old boy from the Dominican Republic, was successfully operated on for his severe heart defect at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital

Diego was born with a congenital heart defect, and at four months old, he was operated on at a prestigious US hospital. The defect in question is a severe heart malformation, which is normally corrected in the first few months of life. However, as the patient grows, they may develop complications that merit further surgical intervention. In Diego's case, as the years went by, he developed a significant obstruction in the left side of his heart. 

With the need for another operation, and thanks to a recommendation from their insurance company, Diego's family learned about the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, experts in treating heart malformations. The family's first contact with specialists from the Heart Unit was in a virtual meeting, where they were able to talk to Dr Sánchez de Toledo, Head of the Heart Unit, andDr Stefano Congiu, Head of Pediatric Heart Surgery. They were able to answer all of the family’s questions, providing all the information they needed to make the decision about whether to travel to Barcelona for the operation.

Diego's operation took place in December 2023 and the result was excellent. His post-operative progress was also very good, meaning that, in less than one month, Diego was able to return home and resume his normal life. The family was given detailed instructions to follow, receiving remote support from Hospital specialists and attending joint appointments with his cardiologist in the Dominican Republic.

‘We received such personalised care at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital, from the medical team, the nursing team and the international patient team.’

Diego's father, Óscar, shared, ‘The results were surprising. He recovered very quickly and had almost no pain or issues. Since the operation, he's like a new boy.’

Diego’s mother, Rocío, also commented on how good the experience was during their time in Barcelona. It is inevitable for there to be some comparison with previous operations, and what continually stood out was ‘the compassionate, personalised treatment that both we and Diego received from all of the staff involved in the treatment: doctors, nurses, and also the international patients team. We have felt supported and at ease, with the same level of compassion we would get in our home country. In the United States, the medical staff were also excellent, but we never saw the surgeon again after the operation. The care we received was also vastly different: we felt like just another number.’

Dr Congiu adds, ‘It was another fantastic experience for us, thanks to the hard work of our capable staff. On par with any other healthcare facility, our staff successfully provide first-class care on both a medical and human level. Our motto, curing and caring for patients, is now our hallmark feature.’