Virsaviya Borun, a native of Russia who moved to South Florida with her mother, suffered from a rare condition – called Pantalogy of Cantrell- that caused her heart and intestines to form outside of her body. Her heart is protected only by a thin layer of skin.
“When I was pregnant, the doctor said she will not survive, that she is going to die,” Dari Borun, the girl’s mother, said.
The remarkable girl defied the odds set against her and lives, for the most part, like any other girl.
“I like to draw Jesus, ponies and angels,” Virsaviya said. “I don’t go to the school and I don’t go to the ballet but I want to do it at home.”
Borun said she found a surgeon in Boston able to treat her daughter, but the cost prevents her from pursuing it.
“It’s gonna be expensive for sure and I tried to work with social worker and she said we don’t have opportunity to apply for insurance,” she said.
An NBC 6 story on Borun and her inspiring little girl was shared millions of times following its intial airing, prompting many throughout their community to reach out and help.
An anonymous donor even reached out to the station and offered to cover the remainder of Virsaviya’s fundraising goal.
“I don’t have a family here. It’s just me and Virsaviya, but now I feel like I have a family because a lot of people just caring about us. They love us. They want to help,” Borun said.
Though funds are being raised to help the girl receive treatment, she is currently unable to undergo surgery.
“She can’t get it because of her high blood pressure and pulmonary arteries. So if it goes down, if she will feel better, they’re going to check her in two years,” Borun explained.
At the moment, the mother is concerned with covering basic treatment as well as living expenses for herself and her daughter.
Despite the challenges, Virsaviya said it’s the heart that keeps her and her mother going.
“My mom always told me that she loves my heart and I really like it,” she said.