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Russian girls get hearts fixed at Roslyn hospital, plus visit from Santa

Viktoria Orekhova, 5, and Maria Zharkova, 6, both from Russia, received minimally invasive procedures to fix holes in their hearts at St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill. The patients were flown in from Russia for the surgery by Russian Gift of Life, a humanitarian. Videojournalist: Alejandra Villa (Dec. 20, 2013)

Russian girls Viktoria Orekhova, 5, and Maria Zharkova, 6, can look forward to a full life after undergoing minimally invasive procedures to fix holes in their hearts at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, in Roslyn.

The girls were flown in from Russia for the surgery by Russian Gift of Life, a humanitarian organization. Had they not received the surgery, their quality of life would have suffered, according to Dr. Sean Levchuck, chairman of pediatric cardiology at St. Francis.

They would have been restricted to limited physical activities as children and their lungs would have begun to fail when they reached their 20s, he explained

Viktoria and Maria were treated to a visit from Santa Claus on Friday. See more in the video feature above. Mobile readers can view the video at http://bit.ly/19ESLnl.

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