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Success! Umar from Sierra Leone raised $1,343 to fund travel for heart surgery.

Umar
100%
  • $1,343 raised, $0 to go
$1,343
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Umar's treatment was fully funded on August 9, 2017.

Photo of Umar post-operation

October 25, 2017

Umar underwent heart surgery.

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

His mother says, “I think it is a miracle that my son is healthy and safe, and I want to thank everyone who helped us!”

During surgery, the hole in Umar's heart was closed with a patch, and the muscular blockage removed. He should now be able to lead a normal ...

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July 27, 2017

Umar is a boy from Sierra Leone. Umar lives outside of Freetown with his mother and grandparents. He is a happy child and likes listening to music on the radio and playing with the neighborhood children. He has a cardiac condition called 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, not enough oxygen is delivered to his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Without surgery, the condition would be fatal.

Umar will fly to the Narayana Institute Of Cardiac Sciences in Bangalore, India to receive treatment. On July 27, he will undergo cardiac surgery. Although Umar is not from Haiti, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is collaborating with partners to make his surgery possible.

Umar’s family also needs help to fund the costs of travel. The $1,343 bill covers his flight to the hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, will also provide support to the family as they travel overseas.

His mother says, “I am excited for Umur to be able to go to preschool once his heart is healthy!”

Umar is a boy from Sierra Leone. Umar lives outside of Freetown with his mother and grandparents. He is a happy child and likes listening to...

Read more

Umar's Timeline

  • July 27, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • July 27, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Umar received treatment at Narayana Institute Of Cardiac Sciences in India. 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.

  • August 4, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Umar's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 9, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Umar's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 25, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Umar's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 1 donor

Funded by 1 donor

Treatment
Patient Air Transport
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,343 for Umar's treatment
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$0
Supplies
$0
Travel
$1,343
  • 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.

Susan

Susan is a seven-year-old girl in the first grade and the second child in her family. Unfortunately, Susan was involved in a grisly road traffic accident when a vehicle lost control on March 8th, 2021. Five children and the teachers were hit, and one child unfortunately passed away. Susan survived despite sustaining fractures on her right hand and leg. She was brought to our medical partner's care center, Nazareth Hospital, and had a fracture repair surgery on her hand and leg. One week ago the plates were removed. Susan's hand has healed well but she has started having severe pain on her leg. When Susan's parents brought her back to the hospital, a X-Ray showed the fracture has reoccurred, and the surgeon recommended a repeat surgery. Without treatment, Susan will continue experiencing the pain, she may never be able to use her leg again, or her leg may eventually heal with a deformity. Fortunately, the surgeons at Nazareth can help. On July 1st, Susan is scheduled to undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, Susan will freed from pain and will be able to use her leg to walk to school and play again. Susan’s father works temporarily as a welder and her mother is a housewife. Their income is limited and their health insurance can no longer cover for another surgery after supporting the previous one. Therefore, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure for Susan. “We thank God that our child is alive as one child died during the accident. We are hoping her surgery can be successful so that we can see her happy again and not in pain. We plead for her surgery sponsorship, ” Susan’s father wishes for her daughter's full recovery.

73% funded

73%funded
$766raised
$283to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.