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Success! Pedro from Dominican Republic raised $1,500 to fund prep for cardiac surgery.

Pedro
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Pedro's treatment was fully funded on May 30, 2017.

Photo of Pedro post-operation

March 7, 2017

Pedro underwent successful cardiac surgery.

During surgery, the hole in Pedro’s heart was closed with a patch, and blood no longer leaks through it. He should be able to lead a normal life with no further symptoms from this condition.

His mother says, “We are so happy that everything went so smoothly with Pedro’s surgery and that he can now be a normal child.”

During surgery, the hole in Pedro's heart was closed with a patch, and blood no longer leaks through it. He should be able to lead a normal ...

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February 10, 2017

Pedro is five years old and in preschool, where he is learning his letters and numbers. He has two older sisters, with whom he likes to play. He and his sisters live with their grandmother in a town not far from the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Pedro was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. Although Pedro is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. Pedro will be one of the first children to receive this care.

First, Pedro will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 11. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Pedro also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and his family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Pedro’s surgical care.

His grandmother says, “It makes me sad to see Pedro get tired so easily when his sisters are playing. We will all be very happy when he has a healthy heart.”

Pedro is five years old and in preschool, where he is learning his letters and numbers. He has two older sisters, with whom he likes to play...

Read more

Pedro's Timeline

  • February 10, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • February 11, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Pedro received treatment at Hospital Pediatrico Robert Reid Cabral in Dominican Republic. 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.

  • February 13, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Pedro's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 7, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Pedro's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • May 30, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Pedro's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 7 donors

Funded by 7 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $2,080 for Pedro'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.

Ko

Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”

56% funded

56%funded
$855raised
$645to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.