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Success! Alexandro from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund heart surgery prep.

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

Photo of Alexandro post-operation

July 7, 2017

Alexandro underwent heart surgery.

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

His mother says, “We are so happy that we can start sending Alexandro to preschool soon without worrying about his health!”

During surgery, the hole in Alexandro's heart was closed with a patch, and blood no longer leaks through it. He should be able to lead a nor...

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June 13, 2017

Alexandro is a happy and curious two-year-old boy who lives with his large family in Haiti.

Alexandro was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath.

Although Watsi has already funded Alexandro’s transportation to the hospital for his surgery, he is still in need of $1,500 to cover medications, heart surgery prep, and exams. Working with our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, the organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is subsidizing the rest of the cost of the procedure to be taken place on June 14.

Alexandro’s mother says, “I am hopeful for my son’s surgery so he will have more energy and strength!”

Alexandro is a happy and curious two-year-old boy who lives with his large family in Haiti. Alexandro was born with ventricular septal d...

Read more

Alexandro's Timeline

  • June 13, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • June 14, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Alexandro received treatment at Health City Cayman Islands.

  • July 06, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Alexandro's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 07, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Alexandro's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • October 01, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Alexandro's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,980 for Alexandro's treatment
Subsidies fund $480 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$450
Medication
$360
Supplies
$0
Travel
$900
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.

Emmanuel

Emmanuel is an eleven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the second-to-youngest, with three older siblings and one younger sibling. Emmanuel’s father is a plumber and his mother sells vegetables from her garden. He enjoys studying Swahili, English, and science when he is able to attend school. One of Emanuel's favorite things to do is play football with his friends. When Emmanuel began third grade, he developed an abscess on his left hip. His parents thought it was a boil and so they emptied it. The wound healed well, but Emmanuel soon began experiencing pain in his left leg. Within a short time, he was unable to walk to school and his entire leg began to swell. An operation to drain excess fluid left him unable to move his ankle and produced two openings on his foot that continuously drain pus. His parents brought him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe, chronic osteomyelitis—a serious bone infection—which unfortunately cannot be treated with a simple operation and antibiotics. In order to save the rest of his leg, Emmanuel's foot will need to be amputated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,035 to fund Emmanuel's operation. He is scheduled for surgery on October 20 at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. After treatment, Emmanuel will be able to heal and eventually regain use of his leg with a foot prosthetic. He will be able to return to playing football on foot instead of in a wheelchair and will be able to walk to school with ease. "I would like to become a pastor like my uncle when I grow up," Emmanuel says.

46% funded

46%funded
$480raised
$555to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Emmanuel

Emmanuel is an eleven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the second-to-youngest, with three older siblings and one younger sibling. Emmanuel’s father is a plumber and his mother sells vegetables from her garden. He enjoys studying Swahili, English, and science when he is able to attend school. One of Emanuel's favorite things to do is play football with his friends. When Emmanuel began third grade, he developed an abscess on his left hip. His parents thought it was a boil and so they emptied it. The wound healed well, but Emmanuel soon began experiencing pain in his left leg. Within a short time, he was unable to walk to school and his entire leg began to swell. An operation to drain excess fluid left him unable to move his ankle and produced two openings on his foot that continuously drain pus. His parents brought him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe, chronic osteomyelitis—a serious bone infection—which unfortunately cannot be treated with a simple operation and antibiotics. In order to save the rest of his leg, Emmanuel's foot will need to be amputated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,035 to fund Emmanuel's operation. He is scheduled for surgery on October 20 at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. After treatment, Emmanuel will be able to heal and eventually regain use of his leg with a foot prosthetic. He will be able to return to playing football on foot instead of in a wheelchair and will be able to walk to school with ease. "I would like to become a pastor like my uncle when I grow up," Emmanuel says.

46% funded

46%funded
$480raised
$555to go