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Sialu from Sierra Leone raised $1,343 to fund travel for heart surgery.

Sialu
100%
  • $1,343 raised, $0 to go
$1,343
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Sialu's treatment was fully funded on January 8, 2018.
October 25, 2017

Sialu traveled to India for cardiac treatment.

During preoperative evaluation in India, a number of tests and imaging procedures were done that are not available in Sierra Leone. These revealed that Sialu was born with other non-cardiac abnormalities, including a missing kidney and other compromised organs. Due to these issues, cardiac surgery was felt to be more risky than beneficial and she will be treated with medication instead to manage her symptoms as well as possible.

During preoperative evaluation in India, a number of tests and imaging procedures were done that are not available in Sierra Leone. These re...

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July 27, 2017

Sialu is a girl from Sierra Leone. Sialu lives in Freetown with a very large extended family. She is always smiling and making new friends in the neighborhood. She 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 her body, leaving her sickly and weak. Without surgery, the condition would be fatal.

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

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

Her mother says, “We feel like our prayers are being answered now that we know our daughter is able to have surgery soon!”

Sialu is a girl from Sierra Leone. Sialu lives in Freetown with a very large extended family. She is always smiling and making new friends i...

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Sialu's Timeline

  • July 27, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • July 27, 2017
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Sialu was scheduled to receive 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

    Sialu's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 25, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Sialu's treatment was started but not completed. Read the update.

  • January 8, 2018
    FULLY FUNDED

    Sialu's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 31 donors

Funded by 31 donors

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

Leakhen

Leakhen is a bright and hardworking 12-year-old girl. She and her brother live with their parents, who are rainy day farmers, in Takeo province in Cambodia. Leakhen enjoys playing with her brother, reading books, and doing homework. When she grows up, Leakhen would like to be a teacher. Leakhen was born with congenital scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis is the presence of an abnormal curvature of the spine. The curvature causes the spinal column to bend left or right. Leakhen is not able to stand up straight or expand her lungs, which causes her frequent fatigue and chronic pain. Because of the stress that scoliosis places on the vital organs of adolescents and their ability to grow, active treatment is required. If not corrected, she could experience progressive weakness, numbness, or a loss of coordination. Leakhen is embarrassed to go places because of her condition. She has had two previous surgical procedures, and surgeons have determined that she needs a revision of her spinal rod to help her heal. Leakhen and her family traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On September 17th, she will undergo a revision of her spinal rod. During this procedure, surgeons will implant and expand a rod to allow her to continue to grow normally. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help her feel confident and be active like other children her age. Leakhen said, "I hope that my spine will look better and I can play with other children."

70% funded

70%funded
$1,059raised
$440to go
James

James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”

88% funded

88%funded
$1,053raised
$132to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.