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Success! Narolin from Dominican Republic raised $1,500 to fund heart surgery.

Narolin
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Narolin's treatment was fully funded on September 1, 2017.

Photo of Narolin post-operation

June 16, 2017

Narolin underwent heart surgery.

During the procedure, a catheter was used to place a patch over the hole in Narolin’s heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. She should be able to lead a normal life with no further issues from this condition.

Her mother says, “I am excited that I will be able to let Narolin play with her friends as much as she wants instead of staying at home.”

During the procedure, a catheter was used to place a patch over the hole in Narolin's heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. She...

Read more
May 24, 2017

Narolin was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. This condition causes a hole in the heart that normally closes shortly after birth, to remain open. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her short of breath. Narolin lives in the outskirts of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic with her father, mother and older sister. She is in the first grade and enjoys school. Although Narolin is not from Haiti, her surgery is taking place in partnership with our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

With financial assistance from Gift of Life International, Narolin will undergo heart surgery on May 24 in Haiti. Now, Narolin and her family are requesting assistance to pay the transportation and surgery prep costs that they will incur while traveling from the Dominican Republic to Haiti.

“We are all so happy that our daughter can have this chance, and we want to say thank you to everyone,” shares Narolin’s mother.

Narolin was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. This condition causes a hole in the heart that normally closes sh...

Read more

Narolin's Timeline

  • May 24, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • May 24, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Narolin received treatment at Hospital Pediatrico Robert Reid Cabral. 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 08, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Narolin's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 16, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Narolin's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • September 01, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Narolin's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 8 donors

Funded by 8 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $2,080 for Narolin's treatment
Subsidies fund $580 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$1,000
Medical Staff
$450
Medication
$360
Supplies
$0
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.

Esther

Meet Esther, a 13-year-old girl, from a village in Kenya who is in need of treatment for genu varus, a knee condition that impacts her ability to walk. Her aunt told us that Esther likes reading and is very active at home. She helps her mother in doing household chores. Esther came to the hospital with her aunt, her grandmother, and a friend from the village. They told us that her mother could not make it to the hospital since she has a young child and she also has a disability on her feet. Esther is the oldest in a family of two children, with her family hailing from a village in Machakos County. Her mother is a housewife while her father is a farmer. They shared that their family lives in a two-roomed mud-house. Esther was born a healthy child, however at the age of one years old, her family noticed un unusual bowing of her legs. She could also feel pain. Since then her condition has continued to worsen. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She often feels pain while walking, she cannot walk far or carry heavy loads. Her self esteem has also been very low which has affected her studies as well. Surgery will be of great impact to her because she will be able to walk, continue with her education, help her mother, and most of it all her self esteem will improve meaning she will be able to interact with other children comfortably. “If there is any kind of help to help our girl, we will gladly appreciate it,” Esther’s aunt told us.

79% funded

79%funded
$970raised
$254to go
Khin

Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. Htay is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms as Htay. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. Htay decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When Htay came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When Htay told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”

80% funded

80%funded
$1,207raised
$293to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Esther

Meet Esther, a 13-year-old girl, from a village in Kenya who is in need of treatment for genu varus, a knee condition that impacts her ability to walk. Her aunt told us that Esther likes reading and is very active at home. She helps her mother in doing household chores. Esther came to the hospital with her aunt, her grandmother, and a friend from the village. They told us that her mother could not make it to the hospital since she has a young child and she also has a disability on her feet. Esther is the oldest in a family of two children, with her family hailing from a village in Machakos County. Her mother is a housewife while her father is a farmer. They shared that their family lives in a two-roomed mud-house. Esther was born a healthy child, however at the age of one years old, her family noticed un unusual bowing of her legs. She could also feel pain. Since then her condition has continued to worsen. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She often feels pain while walking, she cannot walk far or carry heavy loads. Her self esteem has also been very low which has affected her studies as well. Surgery will be of great impact to her because she will be able to walk, continue with her education, help her mother, and most of it all her self esteem will improve meaning she will be able to interact with other children comfortably. “If there is any kind of help to help our girl, we will gladly appreciate it,” Esther’s aunt told us.

79% funded

79%funded
$970raised
$254to go