Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Eliezer from Dominican Republic raised $1,500 to fund prep for cardiac surgery.

Eliezer
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Eliezer's treatment was fully funded on May 31, 2017.

Photo of Eliezer post-operation

March 7, 2017

Eliezer underwent successful cardiac surgery.

During surgery, the hole in Eliezer’s heart was sewn shut, and blood no longer leaks through it. He should be able to lead a normal life with no further symptoms from this condition.

His mother says, “We would like to say thank you to everyone who God sent to help us as an answer to our prayers!”

During surgery, the hole in Eliezer's heart was sewn shut, and blood no longer leaks through it. He should be able to lead a normal life wit...

Read more
February 7, 2017

Meet Eliezer, an eight-year-old boy from the Dominican Republic. Eliezer lives with his grandparents and sister. His father and mother work in a nearby city as a police officer and a house maid. Of all of his second grade classes, Eliezer loves math the most. He hopes to be a math teacher when he grows up.

Eliezer was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, meaning there is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. If untreated, Eliezer’s condition could carry potential life-threatening repercussions, such as heart failure and high blood pressure.

Eliezer will eventually need to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in his heart. However, before that can take place, he needs to receive a full cardiac assessment, which will include physical exams, lab tests, medications, and an overnight stay at the hospital.

For $1,500, we can fund Eliezer’s assessment on February 8, as well as social support for Eliezer and his family during this challenging chapter of their lives. Gift of Life International has also contributed $7,000 to other costs associated with Eliezer’s care.

“We are hopeful that after this surgery Eliezer will be able to be a normal boy and able to play with his friends without getting tired,” shares Eliezer’s grandmother.

Meet Eliezer, an eight-year-old boy from the Dominican Republic. Eliezer lives with his grandparents and sister. His father and mother work ...

Read more

Eliezer's Timeline

  • February 7, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • February 8, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Eliezer received treatment at Hospital Pediatrico Robert Reid Cabral in Dominican Republic. 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.

  • February 13, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Eliezer's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 7, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Eliezer's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • May 31, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Eliezer's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $2,080 for Eliezer's treatment
Subsidies fund $580 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$1,000
Medical Staff
$450
Medication
$360
Supplies
$0
Labs
$180
Other
$90
  • 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 treated by Haiti Cardiac Alliance tend to fall into two categories. They are either born with some type of hole or defect in the heart, or they develop valve disease as a result of an untreated strep throat infection (rheumatic fever). Patients with rheumatic valve disease experience swelling of the abdomen and extremities, as the heart tries to circulate blood through the body despite the valve's dysfunction.

​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. If surgery is required, the child joins a triaged waitlist to be placed for surgery with partner hospitals. It can sometimes take 6-12 months to move through this waitlist. During this period, HCA provides periodic cardiac checkups, changing the patient's triage position as appropriate. The child and his/her guardian then travel to the hospital with an HCA social worker. Typically, the child spends 4-5 days in or near the hospital prior to surgery for testing and examinations. After surgery, he or she spends several more days as an inpatient prior to being discharged. When the child is strong enough to travel, usually after several more weeks, he/she returns home to Haiti. HCA provides regular cardiac checkups for at least five years postoperatively before the final discharge from their program.

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

These treatments are almost always life-saving in nature. These cardiac conditions are not survivable over the long-term without surgery. Within weeks after surgery, the patient should notice a difference in energy level. Many patients also undergo a growth spurt and/or gain significant weight after a surgery.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The risk of death during or shortly after an open-heart surgical procedure is about 3%. Other risks, though rare, include stroke and post-operative infection. In a small percentage of cases, the material used to patch the hole "blows," and a follow-up surgery is necessary to re-patch the defect.

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

Patients come to Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) from the entirety of Haiti. This can involve three days of travel in buses, pickup trucks, or even on horseback. There is no cardiac surgery of any kind available in Haiti outside of the HCA treatment network.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In general, patients are treated with medications to prevent heart failure until they are ready to travel. Patients may also seek care from traditional healers, who may use liquids and powders derived from local plants and roots.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Thu Zar

Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."

77% funded

77%funded
$1,158raised
$342to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Thu Zar

Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."

77% funded

77%funded
$1,158raised
$342to go