Kerhi is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two brothers in Gonaives, a city on the west coast of Haiti. His father is a bus driver, and his mother works in the market. He is in the fifth grade and enjoys math and science. Kerhi 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. Kerhi underwent a surgery two years ago to tie off the duct, but unfortunately the defect has re-opened; he 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.
Kerhi will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 2, he 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 New York, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery.
Kerhi’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 Kerhi’s family overseas.
He says, “I am excited to fly on a plane for the first time and visit a new country!”