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Success! Carlos from Dominican Republic raised $1,500 to fund heart surgery prep.

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

Photo of Carlos post-operation

June 16, 2017

Carlos underwent heart surgery.

During surgery, the hole in Carlos’s heart was closed with a patch, and the muscular blockage in his valve was removed. He should be able to lead a normal life with no further danger from this condition.

His mother says, “I already see Carlos looking healthier than he did before the surgery. I am very thankful to everyone.”

During surgery, the hole in Carlos's heart was closed with a patch, and the muscular blockage in his valve was removed. He should be able to...

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May 17, 2017

Carlos is a 20-month-old baby boy from the Dominican Republic. Carlos lives in a small village with his mother, father and grandparents, and loves playing with stuffed animals.

Carlos was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart condition involving several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage in one of the heart’s valves. As a result, sufficient oxygen is not delivered to his body, leaving him sick and weak. Without surgery, the condition can become fatal.

Carlos is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on May 17 through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance. Although his surgery is being subsidized by Gift of Life International, he is still in need of $1,500 to cover medications, exams, and hospital expenses.

Carlos’s mother says, “I have been very worried about Carlos since he was a baby, and I am very happy that he will have this chance.”

Carlos is a 20-month-old baby boy from the Dominican Republic. Carlos lives in a small village with his mother, father and grandparents, and...

Read more

Carlos's Timeline

  • May 17, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • May 17, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Carlos received treatment at Hospital Pediatrico Robert Reid Cabral. 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.

  • June 08, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Carlos's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 16, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Carlos's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • September 01, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Carlos's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 8 donors

Funded by 8 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $2,080 for Carlos'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.

Khaing

Khaing is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. Her husband is a day laborer while she is a homemaker who looks after their two-year-old daughter at home. Khaing's husband earns 5,000 baht (approx. 166 USD) per month as there is less work, they shared, since the outbreak of COVID-19. In her free time, Khaing likes to make Burmese fish noodle soup called moh hin khar. In the middle of June 2020, Khaing started to vomit each time after eating. She also experienced chest pain and discomfort in her stomach after eating and drinking. A few days after she first felt unwell, she went to a private clinic near her home. She received pain medication and one injection, and she was told she was suffering from an inflammation in her stomach. Khaing felt better after taking the medicine but by the end of July, Khaing actually felt worse. She started to experienced back and lower abdominal pain and constipation. Her abdomen also increased in size and she started to lose weight. Khaing's neighbor told her she was pregnant and Khaing believed her. Around 15 days after her new symptoms began, Khaing purchased a pregnancy test from a shop which showed she was not pregnant. Khaing thought someone might have cursed her so she then went to a fortune teller to ask for help. When the fortune teller told her she was not cursed, Khaing started to believe that she might be really be ill. She went to Mae Tao Clinic on August 20th, 2020. At the clinic, she received diagnostic tests which showed that both of her kidneys are swollen, a condition called hydronehrosis. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital on August 25th for further investigation and is now scheduled to return for treatment. While waiting for her appointment, Khaing's condition worsened. Her stomach is still increasing in size, she can no longer eat or sleep properly and she feels very uncomfortable. The pain in her lower abdomen had also worsened. When she called and talked to the medic, she was told to come back to the hospital sooner. At the hospital she received a blood test, and she was told she would need a CT scan so that the doctor could properly diagnose and treat her. Unable to pay for the CT scan, the MTC medic later referred Khaing to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund. Currently, Khaing cannot walk because she feels like her stomach is very heavy. She feels uncomfortable when she lays down and she cannot sleep well. She is still experiencing lower abdominal and back pain. Whenever she eats or drinks, she vomits. She also noticed that since the end of July she has to urinate frequently, but she is only able to pass a small amount each time. Doctors want Khaing to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Khaing's CT scan and care, now scheduled for September 14th. Khaing said, “I feel stressed and angry. I also don't want to talk to other people and I'm growing inpatient with my daughter. Also I'm feeling worried that I will die early [at a young age]. I don’t want to die because my daughter is still very young.”

50% funded

50%funded
$210raised
$204to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.