8-year-old Arnold was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular septal defect, in which multiple holes exist between the upper and lower chambers of his heart.
“He also has Down syndrome,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). “Blood flows through the holes in his heart without first passing through the lungs to get oxygen, leaving him sickly and short of breath. Because of the severity of this condition, there is a chance it may not be repairable, but the only way to determine this is by inserting a catheter into the chambers of his heart. Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring him to Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that he can have heart surgery later in the year.”
Arnold lives in Haiti with his mother, father, and seven brothers and sisters. He is the youngest and is unable to attend school. His mother tells us that he likes helping around the house and playing with his siblings.
For $1500, Arnold will be transported to the Dominican Republic for this procedure. A catheter will be inserted into the chambers of his heart to determine whether or not his condition is operable. “If operable, plans will then be made to move forward with his surgery as soon as possible,” HCA continues.
“It makes me sad to see Arnold get tired so easily and not be able to run and play,” his mother says. “I am hoping the doctors can fix this problem.”