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

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Jonenskia's treatment was fully funded on December 31, 2015.
September 17, 2016

Jonenskia will undergo heart surgery instead of a diagnostic procedure.

Although we encountered several logistical difficulties in transporting Jonenskia to the Dominican Republic for cardiac catheterization, our hospital partner in the Cayman Islands has agreed to accept her for catheterization and surgery at their facility instead. We have not yet determined a surgical date, but will share the details with Watsi once a plan has been finalized.

Once Jonenskia’s surgery date is determined, she will be re-eligible for Watsi funding.

Although we encountered several logistical difficulties in transporting Jonenskia to the Dominican Republic for cardiac catheterization, our...

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December 23, 2015

Seven-year-old Jonenskia was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart.

“Blood flows through the hole in her heart without first passing through the lungs to get oxygen, leaving her sickly and short of breath,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). “Because she has lived for so long with this condition, there is a chance it may no longer be repairable, but the only way to determine this is by inserting a catheter into the chambers of her heart. 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.”

Jonenskia lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three sisters. Her father works in construction and her mother stays home with the children. She is in primary school and likes going to school and playing with her friends.

“We are praying to God that Jonenskia can have an operation so that we don’t have to worry about her heart anymore,” her mother says. With $1,500 we can fully fund Jonenskia’s travel, transportation, and diagnostic procedure to help move her treatment forward.

Seven-year-old Jonenskia was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower ch...

Read more

Jonenskia's Timeline

  • December 23, 2015

    Jonenskia was submitted by Owen Robinson, Executive Director at Haiti Cardiac Alliance, our medical partner in Haiti.

  • December 29, 2015

    Jonenskia's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 17, 2016

    Jonenskia is no longer raising funds.

  • March 21, 2016

    Jonenskia was scheduled to receive treatment at Clinica Corominas. 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.

  • September 17, 2016

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

Funded by 17 donors

Funded by 17 donors

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.


John is a casual laborer from Kenya and the oldest of three children in his family with a single mother. John is currenrtly unemployed and previously he did some casual work at a bus stage: to help fill passengers for a small daily wage. His mother does casual work like cleaning clothes for neighbors and any other job available. On 4th April 2019 John was hit by a vehicle that lost control and met him on the side of the road. He sustained injuries to both legs. He was taken to a nearby hospital and x-rays showed he had closed fracture head of femur left leg and open fracture right tibia. Through the earlier support of friends and neighbors, he had an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery on the left side and external fixator on his right leg. Unfortunately even after the wound was healed his family could not afford another ORIF surgery which is much needed. Doctors are concerned that if not treated soon, John may get sepsis in his bones and may never be able to use his legs again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 5th, John will undergo an ORIF fracture repair procedure. We hope with treatment, he will regain normal use of his legs and that an infection will also be avoided. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I have suffered a whole year in bed and pain that seems to have no end. I really plead for support and God will bless you. I can’t imagine seeing these metal bars removed from my leg and walking again, even if by crutches,” says John.

66% funded

$338to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.