An Iowa State Miracle

Jill Alt

On June 23rd, 2017 Iowa State Ph.D. students Kevin and Martha Natukunda gave birth to their first baby, Miracle Natukunda, and she is living up to her name.

Miracle was born two and a half weeks early in an emergency c-section operation at the Des Moines Mercy Hospital, where she stayed in the NICU for over 85 days. 

Sadly, Miracle was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, Pulmonary Atresia with MAPCAS. 

As defined by the American Heart Association, it is a complete obstruction of the Pulmonary Artery resulting in total diversion of blood from the right ventricle into the aorta. 

Doctors told the Natukandas that Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford was her best chance at survival with her in desperate need of surgical repair. She required a pulmonary artery reconstruction, and Lucile Packard has the most experience with the operation. 

Unfortunately, Miracle’s condition was extremely unstable, and couldn’t be transported by ground, so she needed to be flown by air ambulance. 

One transport is $40,000.

Kevin and Martha are both Ph.D. students at Iowa State, and this has been a financial strain on them during an already very trying time.

If you can give anything, please do not hesitate to help two of your fellow cyclones, and maybe a future cyclone.