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Luc Stanley from Haiti raised $1,500 to repair a life-threatening heart defect.

Luc Stanley
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Luc Stanley's treatment was fully funded on September 28, 2015.

Photo of Luc Stanley post-operation

December 3, 2015

Luc Stanley received successful treatment for his heart defect.

“During surgery, the hole in Luc Stanley’s heart was patched closed, and the muscular blockage in his valve was removed,” our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, shares.

After a full recovery, Luc Stanley should “be able to live a normal life with no further cardiac symptoms.” He will be able to play with his friends again, and live without the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

Luc Stanley shares: “I am very happy to be leaving the hospital and going home to see the rest of my family!”

"During surgery, the hole in Luc Stanley's heart was patched closed, and the muscular blockage in his valve was removed," our medical partne...

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September 17, 2015

Luc Stanley is nine years old and lives with his mother and four sisters in Haiti. “He is in the second grade in school, and his favorite subject is mathematics. He would like to be an engineer or an architect when he grows up,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA).

Luc Stanley was born with a cardiac condition called tetralogy of fallot, characterized by a hole between two chambers of his heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. “As a result, blood cannot circulate normally through his body, and he is at constant risk of sudden death,” HCA adds.

For $1,500, Luc Stanley will undergo cardiac surgery to repair the hole and remove the muscular blockage in his heart. This operation has been subsidized with $5,000 by International Children’s Heart Foundation.

Surgery will allow Luc Stanley’s heart to function normally and circulate blood to the rest of his body so that he can play with his friends and live free from the concern of sudden cardiac arrest.

“I have never been able to play soccer with my friends, and so I am looking forward to learning how to play when my surgery is done!” Luc Stanley says.

Luc Stanley is nine years old and lives with his mother and four sisters in Haiti. "He is in the second grade in school, and his favorite su...

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Luc Stanley's Timeline

  • September 17, 2015

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

  • September 17, 2015

    Luc Stanley received treatment at St. Damien Hospital. 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 28, 2015

    Luc Stanley's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 28, 2015

    Luc Stanley's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 03, 2015

    We received an update on Luc Stanley. Read the update.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

Domestic Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
  • 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 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 staff decides whether the child can be treated in-country or needs to be flown elsewhere to access care. If the child can be treated in-country, he or she is scheduled for an upcoming surgical mission. In the meantime, HCA provides periodic cardiac checkups. 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. 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.


Nay is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband in Mae Pa Village in Tak Province. One and half year ago, they moved from Shwegyin Township, Bago Division in Burma for a better job opportunities. Nay stopped working as a day laborer because her health deteriorated. Now, her husband is the only earner and he is also a day laborer making limited income. Around eight months ago, Nay had a high fever and stomachache. She was also vomited a few times so her employer took her to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). When she arrived, she received an IV as well as oral medications. She was admitted for one day and then she felt better and returned home. Two days later after she got home, she felt stomachache again in the right side and also vomited. Again, her employer took her back to MTC and she was admitted again. She received oral medications as well as an ultrasound test. After an ultrasound, the medic informed her that she has a stone in her common bile duct as well as in the intrahepatic duct. She was then referred to Watsi Medical Partner Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH she received another ultrasound as well as a blood test and an X-ray. She was given oral medications to take home and she was asked to return to the hospital once a month for follow up. She went to MSH several times for follow-up appointments and she kept receiving oral medications for her stomachache problem. On February 11th, she went back to MSH as usual and she received another blood test. After that she was told that she has stone in her common bile duct and she needs to be admitted for surgery to remove the stone. Nay has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Nay is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on March 24th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nay's procedure and care. Nay said, “I want to work after my surgery so that our family will have enough income and now I am very sad that because of my condition we may have to borrow money from our neighbor.”

70% funded

$449to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.