Smaha is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in Cap Haitien, a city on the northern coast of Haiti. She attends first grade, and likes coloring and doing art projects. Smaha has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. A blood vessel between the pulmonary artery and the aorta that normally closes soon after birth instead remains open. Blood flows through it, bypassing the lungs and depriving the body of the oxygen it needs. Smaha underwent a surgery two years ago to tie off the duct, but unfortunately the defect has re-opened; she will now undergo a different type of procedure called cardiac catheterization to close it in a way that makes it very unlikely to ever reopen again.
Smaha will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 3, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will use a device attached to the tip of a catheter to block the leaking duct. Another organization, Gift of Life Inc., is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery.
Smaha’s family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Smaha’s family overseas.
Her mother says, “I am praying that after this trip to the hospital my daughter will be fully healthy.”