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Success! Christella from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund prep for cardiac surgery.

Christella
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Christella's treatment was fully funded on June 10, 2018.

Photo of Christella post-operation

June 25, 2018

Christella underwent cardiac surgery.

During surgery, a patch was sewn across the hole in Christella’s heart, and the muscular blockage near one of her valves was removed. Blood now flows through her heart normally with no leakage, and she should be able to lead a normal life with no symptoms or danger from this condition.

She says, “I had a very nice time visiting the hospital but am excited to get home to see my friends and the rest of my family!”

During surgery, a patch was sewn across the hole in Christella's heart, and the muscular blockage near one of her valves was removed. Blood ...

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June 4, 2018

Christella is a student from Haiti. She lives with her mother and aunt in a small village in the mountains of northern Haiti. She is in the sixth grade, and enjoys studying math and science in school.

Christella has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect with subaortic membrane. Her heart has two defects: a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart, and a piece of tissue that partially blocks one of the heart’s four valves. These conditions prevent blood from flowing normally through the heart, and could eventually be fatal.

Christella will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On June 7, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the tissue blocking her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery.

Christella’s family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Christella’s family overseas.

She says, “I am nervous about my surgery but excited to fly on a plane!”

Christella is a student from Haiti. She lives with her mother and aunt in a small village in the mountains of northern Haiti. She is in the ...

Read more

Christella's Timeline

  • June 4, 2018
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • June 05, 2018
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Christella's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 07, 2018
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Christella received treatment at Health City Cayman Islands. 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.

  • June 10, 2018
    FULLY FUNDED

    Christella's treatment was fully funded.

  • June 25, 2018
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Christella's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,980 for Christella'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.

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Kyosimire

Kyosimire is a 40-year-old small-scale farmer who stays at her parents’ home despite being married. She completed sixth grade in primary school and receives limited support from her husband and father who have other families. Kyosimire got married in 2017. She shared that she delayed getting married because she needed to take good care of her mother. After her mother’s death, that’s when she decided to get married. She married a man who has another family with 6 children; she could therefore not get the care and support she hoped from her husband. She has had abdominal pains for the past five years and she thinks her problem of not conceiving could be connected to her abdominal pains. She feels severe pain along with bleeding and sometimes develops swollen legs plus a high heartbeat. She has only used pain medicine from clinics to relieve her pain but has never visited any hospital for medical attention. She has now come to Rushoroza Hospital to seek medical advice. At Rushoroza doctors have recommended she have a total abdominal hysterectomy. The surgery is expected to remove a leiomyoma; hence relieving her pain, the menorrhagia, bleeding, and averting additional complications. She is on her own and cannot afford the surgery charges despite being in severe pain. She shared that she experiences sleepless nights due to the pain and she seeks financial support for the surgery. She said, “I had lost hope. Given the opportunity with the surgery, I believe I can be able to work harder through farming to be able to sustain myself and my entire family.”

17% funded

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$41raised
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Immanuel

Immanuel is a 2-year-old child from Kenya and the last born in a family of four. His parents are both casual laborers who earn an average of $3 per day. His mother washes clothes while his father works in construction sites where they earn a daily wage. Immanuel’s parent’s income is inconsistent since they depend on the availability of work. In mid-June this year, Immanuel was playing in the kitchen as his mother prepared supper for the family. He dipped his left hand into a boiling pot of potatoes when his mother stepped out to fetch more firewood for the broth. He let out a loud scream which made his mother rush back to the kitchen only to find him burnt and in pain. Immanuel suffered burns on his chest and left arm. He is not healing well and he is prone to infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Immanuel receive treatment. On September 21st, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. This treatment will help clean his wounds and cover them with skin so as to reduce the risk of infection and improve his healing. Now, Immanuel needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Immanuel's mother shared, “For over two months now we have tried to source help for my baby to get this needed treatment. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful. The wounds are refusing to heal and his elbow has become immobile and stiff. This might affect him now and in the future, if something is not done soon.”

66% funded

66%funded
$791raised
$394to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Kyosimire

Kyosimire is a 40-year-old small-scale farmer who stays at her parents’ home despite being married. She completed sixth grade in primary school and receives limited support from her husband and father who have other families. Kyosimire got married in 2017. She shared that she delayed getting married because she needed to take good care of her mother. After her mother’s death, that’s when she decided to get married. She married a man who has another family with 6 children; she could therefore not get the care and support she hoped from her husband. She has had abdominal pains for the past five years and she thinks her problem of not conceiving could be connected to her abdominal pains. She feels severe pain along with bleeding and sometimes develops swollen legs plus a high heartbeat. She has only used pain medicine from clinics to relieve her pain but has never visited any hospital for medical attention. She has now come to Rushoroza Hospital to seek medical advice. At Rushoroza doctors have recommended she have a total abdominal hysterectomy. The surgery is expected to remove a leiomyoma; hence relieving her pain, the menorrhagia, bleeding, and averting additional complications. She is on her own and cannot afford the surgery charges despite being in severe pain. She shared that she experiences sleepless nights due to the pain and she seeks financial support for the surgery. She said, “I had lost hope. Given the opportunity with the surgery, I believe I can be able to work harder through farming to be able to sustain myself and my entire family.”

17% funded

17%funded
$41raised
$198to go