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Guerline from Haiti raised $1,500 for a critical diagnostic procedure.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Guerline's treatment was fully funded on December 31, 2015.
May 26, 2016

Guerline will receive a different procedure than initially planned.

When our medical partner first reviewed Guerline’s case, they indicated that they could not accept her for surgery without first seeing a cardiac catheterization study. However, based on more updated clinical information, they have changed their minds and are now willing to have her come to for possible surgery without the need for a catheterization in Dominican Republic. Her profile has been re-submitted to Watsi to reflect this change.

You can see Guerline’s updated profile on Watsi here.

When our medical partner first reviewed Guerline's case, they indicated that they could not accept her for surgery without first seeing a ca...

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December 23, 2015

Guerline is 12 years old, and lives in central Haiti with her mother, father, and three brothers. She likes to go to school but she has not been able to attend for three years due to her heart condition. She likes going to church and helping her mother at home.

Guerline has a condition called rheumatic mitral valve regurgitation, in which one of the valves of her heart does not adequately pump blood because it has been damaged by a fever. As a result, blood backs up into her heart, leading to heart failure. Because she has lived for 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 her heart. Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring her to Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that she can have heart surgery later in the year.

$1,500 will fund this diagnostic procedure, as well as all travel and transportation costs. “Following the catheterization procedure, Guerline and her family will know with certainty whether her condition is operable or not,” her doctor says. “If operable, plans will then be made to move forward with her surgery as soon as possible.”

“I am hoping that the problem with my heart can be fixed so I can go back to school,” Guerline shares.

Guerline is 12 years old, and lives in central Haiti with her mother, father, and three brothers. She likes to go to school but she has not ...

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Guerline's Timeline

  • December 23, 2015

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

  • December 29, 2015

    Guerline's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 26, 2016

    Guerline is no longer raising funds.

  • March 21, 2016

    Guerline 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.

  • May 26, 2016

    Guerline's treatment did not happen. Read the update.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

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.

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57% funded

$630to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.