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Success! Arnold from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund diagnostic testing.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Arnold's treatment was fully funded on August 19, 2018.

Photo of Arnold post-operation

October 19, 2018

Arnold underwent diagnostic testing.

A diagnostic catheterization of Arnold’s heart showed that he can safely undergo open-heart surgery. Our medical partner is now working to make arrangements for this surgery to take place in the coming months.

His mother says, “I am very happy that our prayers have been answered and our son can have surgery.”

A diagnostic catheterization of Arnold's heart showed that he can safely undergo open-heart surgery. Our medical partner is now working to m...

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July 31, 2018

Arnold is a young student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He has Down syndrome and goes to a school for children with special learning needs. He has many friends and enjoys helping his mother around the house.

Arnold has a cardiac condition called partial atrioventricular canal defect. Holes exist between both the upper and lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through these holes before first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Arnold also has a condition called pulmonary hypertension, in which the blood pressures to his lungs are too high. For this reason, he needs a diagnostic catheterization to determine whether it is safe for him to have surgery.

To determine if Arnold’s condition is operable, he must undergo a diagnostic cardiac catheterization, a procedure that is not available in Haiti. During the procedure, a catheter probe will be inserted into his heart to perform the necessary measurements and tests. On August 22, he will travel to the Dominican Republic to receive the scan at our medical partner’s care center, Clinica Corominas.

Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to cover the costs of Arnold’s travel expenses, catheterization procedure, and lab work.

His mother says, “We are all praying that Arnold can have surgery so that he will be more healthy and have more energy.”

Arnold is a young student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He has Down syndrome an...

Read more

Arnold's Timeline

  • July 31, 2018

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

  • July 31, 2018

    Arnold's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 19, 2018

    Arnold's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 28, 2018

    Arnold received treatment at Clinica Corominas in Haiti. 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.

  • October 19, 2018

    Arnold's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Diagnostic Heart Catheterization
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $3,790 for Arnold's treatment
Subsidies fund $2,290 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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 who undergo diagnostic catheterization are born with one of several types of congenital holes or defects in the heart.

​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. In some cases, the child may be eligible for surgery, but only after a cardiac catheterization to determine whether the pressures upon the lungs are still reversible. In this case, the child travels to the Dominican Republic to undergo this procedure. The child stay in the hospital overnight and is discharged the next day. Once the results are received, HCA can decide on next steps.

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

The cardiac catheterization itself is diagnostic in nature and does not cure the patient's heart condition. However, the patient cannot be accepted for surgery anywhere without first undergoing this procedure. It is thus a life-saving step in his or her treatment plan.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Diagnostic catheterization is a relatively low-risk procedure. However, risks include excessive bleeding at the incision site and accidental puncture of the cardiac tissue with the catheter probe.

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

The country of Haiti currently has no cardiac catheterization lab, which is why all of HCA's patients must travel to Dominican Republic for this service.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives to diagnostic catheterization for measuring pulmonary pressures and assessing surgical viability.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.