Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Carlos is a student from Haiti who needs $1,343 to fund transportation for cardiac surgery.

Carlos
54%
  • $728 raised, $615 to go
$728
raised
$615
to go
Dedicate my donation


We'll send your dedicatee an email
about your gift, along with updates
about Carlos's recovery.

July 5, 2017

Carlos is a 14-year old student who lives in an orphanage on the southern coast of Haiti. Carlos is currently in the eighth grade and would like to become a doctor or an engineer when he grows up.

Carlos suffers from mitral and aortic regurgitation, both of which resulted from the rheumatic fever that he contracted several years ago. Due to his conditions, blood backs up into his heart and does not properly circulate throughout his body, leaving Carlos weak, short of breath, and at risk of heart failure.

Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,343 to cover the cost of Carlos’s air transportation to the Cayman Islands, where he is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 5. Once there, he will receive the care that he needs and will hopefully be able to live more comfortably.

Carlos says, “I am very happy that I can have this chance to heal my heart, and would like to say thank you to everyone.”

Carlos is a 14-year old student who lives in an orphanage on the southern coast of Haiti. Carlos is currently in the eighth grade and would ...

Read more

Carlos's Timeline

  • July 5, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • July 05, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Carlos received treatment at Health City Cayman Islands.

  • July 13, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Carlos's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 09, 2017
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Carlos's treatment update from Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Carlos is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Treatment
Patient Air Transport
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,343 for Carlos'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.

Pedro

Pedro is a six-month-old baby boy who lives with his parents in Guatemala’s rural highlands. Pedro was born with a cleft lip, which, in his short life, has already brought him health difficulties. A cleft lip makes it difficult for Pedro to breastfeed, so he has not been receiving enough nutrition to grow healthily. If left untreated, Pedro’s cleft lip will cause him further complications, including continued difficulty feeding and swallowing, speech difficulties, and dental problems. It can also lead to chronic ear infections and hearing loss. Since Pedro was born, his parents have been extremely worried for their son, as they do not have the resources to pay for the necessary surgery to correct his condition. Pedro’s parents’ greatest hope is for their son to be healthy and undergo a successful surgery. With the aid of Watsi funding, Pedro will have the surgery he needs on October 6. He will stay with his mother in the hospital for up to 10 days afterwards to allow the lip to heal and to ensure he can feed properly. Treatment will also include three doctor consults before surgery and two after. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, requests $1,014 for Pedro's medical care. After the surgery, Pedro will be able to feed like a normal, healthy baby boy, and he will be able to develop normal speech capabilities. Pedro will have the opportunity to grow and develop healthily, for this surgery will eliminate any risk of ear infection, hearing loss, or dental issues related to cleft lip. Pedro’s mother says, “I am so happy to have this support, and we are so grateful because it is not only a great help for our son but it is a great help economically to our family.”

57% funded

57%funded
$580raised
$434to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.