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Arnold from Haiti raised $1,500 for a critical diagnostic procedure.

Arnold
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Arnold's treatment was fully funded on December 30, 2015.
October 31, 2016

Arnold did not receive treatment as expected.

Unfortunately, we encountered several logistical difficulties in transporting Arnold to the Dominican Republic for cardiac catheterization. He is currently being rescheduled for transportation, and therefore his treatment has been postponed.

Unfortunately, we encountered several logistical difficulties in transporting Arnold to the Dominican Republic for cardiac catheterization. ...

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December 23, 2015

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.”


8-year-old Arnold was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular septal defect, in which multiple holes exist between th...

Read more

Arnold's Timeline

  • December 23, 2015
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Arnold was submitted by Owen Robinson, Executive Director at Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

  • December 29, 2015
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Arnold's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 31, 2016
    FUNDING ENDED

    Arnold is no longer raising funds.

  • March 21, 2016
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Arnold was scheduled to receive treatment at Clinica Corominas in Haiti. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • October 31, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Arnold's treatment did not happen. Read the update.

Funded by 9 donors

Funded by 9 donors

Treatment
Diagnostic Heart Catheterization
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

When a hole exists in the heart, a physician can hear a buzzing noise, or murmur, in the child's chest as blood passes through the hole at high velocity. The child's parents might notice that their son or daughter cannot keep up with other children in daily activities. In severe cases, the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream can lead to dramatic symptoms, such as blue lips and tongue, clubbed fingers and toes, and heart failure. The patients who undergo diagnostic catheterization are born with one of several types of congenital holes or defects in the heart.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Virtually all of the conditions treated at Haiti Cardiac Alliance will eventually lead to death without surgery, the majority of them within one to two years. In the meantime, patients experience heart failure as their hearts struggle to compensate for the presence of leaks or other defects. In most conditions, the heart becomes fatigued, limiting the child's ability to be active, go to school, and participate in daily life.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Families in Haiti often have complex cultural mechanisms for understanding cardiac illnesses and their causes, sometimes involving voudou or other religious belief systems. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Haitian families in our medical partner's program also engage with the medical explanations and treatment of these conditions. Parents are willing and cooperative participants in their child's treatment.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient is first referred to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), by a pediatrician or another medical practitioner who detects symptoms that might be cardiac in nature. HCA staff then perform an echocardiogram to diagnose the cardiac condition. In some cases, the child may be eligible for surgery, but only after a cardiac catheterization to determine whether the pressures upon the lungs are still reversible. In this case, the child travels to the Dominican Republic to undergo this procedure. The child stay in the hospital overnight and is discharged the next day. Once the results are received, HCA can decide on next steps.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The cardiac catheterization itself is diagnostic in nature and does not cure the patient's heart condition. However, the patient cannot be accepted for surgery anywhere without first undergoing this procedure. It is thus a life-saving step in his or her treatment plan.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Diagnostic catheterization is a relatively low-risk procedure. However, risks include excessive bleeding at the incision site and accidental puncture of the cardiac tissue with the catheter probe.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

The country of Haiti currently has no cardiac catheterization lab, which is why all of HCA's patients must travel to Dominican Republic for this service.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives to diagnostic catheterization for measuring pulmonary pressures and assessing surgical viability.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.