He was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic and the doctors told his mom as soon as he was born that he wouldn’t live very long, because he was born with two complex congenital heart defects; Tetralogy of Fallot and AV canal. As a result, seven defects needed to be repaired in both the left and right side of the heart; and if that wasn’t enough stress and strain on his survival, he was also born with Down Syndrome, which put additional pressure on his lungs and would add to a difficult recovery.
Doctors in Santiago told his mother no Doctors in the Dominican Republic would operate. As his condition continued to deteriorate, she kept begging the doctors to help her only son. The cardiologist in Santiago told her to go to CEDIMAT Hospital in Santo Domingo, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund was having a mission and that the team could possibly offer palliative surgery. Repairing his heart would require an operation that had never been done in the Dominican Republic. To his mother’s surprise Dr. Delius and Dr. Leon at CEDIMAT, agreed not only to operate on him, but to do a T canal repair that would completely fix Jose Angel's heart. The surgery was 8 1/2 hours long, which seemed like an eternity for Jose Angel’s mom, but it was worth every minute when she heard from the surgeons that the operation was a success. 72 hours after the surgery, Jose Angel was happy and playing in the ICU and his mother’s heart was filled with gratitude.