“Shekina has been very sick since she was born, and I want her to be healthy and happy,” says Shekina’s mother, “I pray for a good result from this test.” Her daughter Shekina, a three-year-old Haitian girl, needs a diagnostic heart catheterization procedure to determine her eligibility for heart surgery. Shekina’s mother has stopped working as a market vendor to take care of her.
“Shekina was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular septal defect, in which multiple holes exist between the upper and lower chambers of her heart,” explains our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). “Blood flows through these holes in her heart without first passing through the lungs to get oxygen, leaving her sickly and short of breath.”
Due to the severity of Shekina’s condition, a surgical solution may not be available. However, the only way to determine this is through imaging done with catheterization. “Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring her to Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that she can have heart surgery later in the year,” shares HCA.
$1,500 covers the cost of the catheter procedure and travel arrangements such as visas and a place to stay. Following the catheterization test, Shekina’s family will know with certainty whether her condition is operable or not. HCA tells us that if operable, plans will then be made to move forward with her surgery as soon as possible.