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Success! Witcheldo from Haiti raised $1,500 for life-saving heart surgery.

Witcheldo
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Witcheldo's treatment was fully funded on September 19, 2016.

Photo of Witcheldo post-operation

November 1, 2016

Witcheldo successfully received life-saving heart surgery.

For most of his life, Witcheldo has lived with a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, as a result of an untreated strep throat he suffered when he was younger. The strep throat led to rheumatic fever which in turn infected his heart valves, limiting their ability to pump blood through his body.

Today, Witcheldo is doing great! His surgery was a great success, in which his mitral valve was repaired so that it no longer leaks, and is more able to pump blood through his body. He now has more energy and is able to be fully active with no limitations. He says he would like to be a doctor when he grows up.

“I am so happy that I can run and play without getting tired!” says Witcheldo.

For most of his life, Witcheldo has lived with a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, as a result of an untreated strep thr...

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September 16, 2016

Ten-year-old Witcheldo lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti with his parents and three siblings. He is in third grade, and would like to be a doctor when he grows up.

Witcheldo has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, as a result of an untreated strep throat he suffered when he was younger. The strep throat led to rheumatic fever which in turn infected his heart valves, limiting their ability to pump blood through his body.

This leads to heart failure and would be fatal if not corrected. $1,500 in Watsi funding, and an additional $10,000 subsidy from Have a Heart Cayman Islands will fund the life-saving heart surgery that Witcheldo needs to grow up healthy. During surgery, the doctors will first attempt to repair his existing valve; if this is impossible, they will replace it with a metal valve.

“I am excited to have my surgery so I can walk to school without getting out of breath,” Witcheldo shared.

Ten-year-old Witcheldo lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti with his parents and three siblings. He is in third grade, and would...

Read more

Witcheldo's Timeline

  • September 16, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • September 16, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Witcheldo's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 19, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Witcheldo's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 20, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Witcheldo received treatment at Health City Cayman Islands.

  • November 01, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Witcheldo's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 img 0348

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 img 0348
Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,980 for Witcheldo'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.

Virginia

Virginia is a five-month-old baby girl living in rural Guatemala. She was born to a single mother who stays home to care for her. Unfortunately, Virginia's mother cannot produce breast milk, which has made it difficult for Virginia to receive the nourishment that she needs in her early months of life. Because of this, Virginia was recently diagnosed with malnutrition, a condition that occurs from consuming too little protein, calories, and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Virginia has little energy to grow, and that her immune system is weak, leaving her vulnerable to diseases that could further compromise her growth. If left untreated, she may also face the long-term consequences of malnutrition, such as increased risk of chronic illness and a lowered IQ. Concerned for her well-being, her mother took Virginia to our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, for treatment. Beginning June 13, Virginia will receive micronutrients, formula, and food supplementation, as well as regular growth monitoring. Community health workers will also teach her mother how to create a nutrient rich diet using limited resources. The $1,162 requested will cover all expenses of her continued treatment, allowing her to gain weight, strengthen her immune system, and catch up with other children her age. Virginia’s mother says, “I am scared because I do not have breast milk to give my daughter, and we are of scarce resources so I cannot afford to buy her much. I dream to see my daughter grow up well so that she can study and in the future become a teacher.”

51% funded

51%funded
$594raised
$568to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Virginia

Virginia is a five-month-old baby girl living in rural Guatemala. She was born to a single mother who stays home to care for her. Unfortunately, Virginia's mother cannot produce breast milk, which has made it difficult for Virginia to receive the nourishment that she needs in her early months of life. Because of this, Virginia was recently diagnosed with malnutrition, a condition that occurs from consuming too little protein, calories, and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Virginia has little energy to grow, and that her immune system is weak, leaving her vulnerable to diseases that could further compromise her growth. If left untreated, she may also face the long-term consequences of malnutrition, such as increased risk of chronic illness and a lowered IQ. Concerned for her well-being, her mother took Virginia to our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, for treatment. Beginning June 13, Virginia will receive micronutrients, formula, and food supplementation, as well as regular growth monitoring. Community health workers will also teach her mother how to create a nutrient rich diet using limited resources. The $1,162 requested will cover all expenses of her continued treatment, allowing her to gain weight, strengthen her immune system, and catch up with other children her age. Virginia’s mother says, “I am scared because I do not have breast milk to give my daughter, and we are of scarce resources so I cannot afford to buy her much. I dream to see my daughter grow up well so that she can study and in the future become a teacher.”

51% funded

51%funded
$594raised
$568to go