Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Jean Wilson from Haiti raised $1,500 for a heart catheterization procedure.

Jean Wilson
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Jean Wilson's treatment was fully funded on January 4, 2016.
August 12, 2016

Jean Wilson did not need his anticipated treatment.

Although our original plan was to send Jean to the Dominican Republic for cardiac catheterization, our partners in Cayman Islands agreed to accept him for cardiac surgery without the need for this procedure first. He successfully underwent surgery in Cayman Islands and is recovering well.

Although our original plan was to send Jean to the Dominican Republic for cardiac catheterization, our partners in Cayman Islands agreed to ...

Read more
December 23, 2015

“I am hoping that I will be able to have surgery, so that I can run and play soccer like my friends,” Jean Wilson tells our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA).

Jean Wilson is a studious 16-year-old who was born with tetralogy of fallot, a heart condition that causes a hole to form between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage to form over one of the valves. As a result, Jean Wilson is chronically short of breath and his body is not able to absorb oxygen as easily as it could if his heart were healthy.

“Because he has lived so long with this condition, there is a chance it may no longer be repairable, but the only way to determine this is by inserting a catheter into the chambers of his heart,” HCA says. “Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring him to the Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that he can have heart surgery later in the year.”

For $1500, Jean Wilson will be transported to the Dominican Republic for the catheterization procedure that will determine the operability of his congenital heart defect. If Jean Wilson is a good candidate for surgery, he will then undergo the operation so that he can regain his health and fulfill his dreams of becoming an engineer.

"I am hoping that I will be able to have surgery, so that I can run and play soccer like my friends," Jean Wilson tells our medical partner,...

Read more

Jean Wilson's Timeline

  • December 23, 2015

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

  • January 1, 2016

    Jean Wilson's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 12, 2016

    Jean Wilson is no longer raising funds.

  • March 21, 2016

    Jean Wilson was scheduled to receive treatment at Clinica Corominas in Haiti. 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 12, 2016

    Jean Wilson's treatment did not happen. Read the update.

Diagnostic Heart Catheterization
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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 who undergo diagnostic catheterization are born with one of several types of congenital holes or defects in the heart.

​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. In some cases, the child may be eligible for surgery, but only after a cardiac catheterization to determine whether the pressures upon the lungs are still reversible. In this case, the child travels to the Dominican Republic to undergo this procedure. The child stay in the hospital overnight and is discharged the next day. Once the results are received, HCA can decide on next steps.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The cardiac catheterization itself is diagnostic in nature and does not cure the patient's heart condition. However, the patient cannot be accepted for surgery anywhere without first undergoing this procedure. It is thus a life-saving step in his or her treatment plan.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Diagnostic catheterization is a relatively low-risk procedure. However, risks include excessive bleeding at the incision site and accidental puncture of the cardiac tissue with the catheter probe.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

The country of Haiti currently has no cardiac catheterization lab, which is why all of HCA's patients must travel to Dominican Republic for this service.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives to diagnostic catheterization for measuring pulmonary pressures and assessing surgical viability.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.