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Victor is a student from Dominican Republic who needs $1,500 to fund prep for cardiac surgery.

Victor
62%
  • $941 raised, $559 to go
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$559
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February 13, 2017

Ten-year-old Victor was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him fatigued.

Victor lives in a small town in central Dominican Republic with his parents, five sisters, and two brothers. He is in the fourth grade, and his favorite subjects are mathematics and social studies.

Although Victor is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. He will undergo cardiac surgery at our medical partner’s care center.

First, Victor will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 15. 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 Victor also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and him family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Victor’s surgical care.

“I am excited to learn how to play soccer after my surgery,” says Victor. “I have always been too weak to play.”

Ten-year-old Victor was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his ...

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Victor's Timeline

  • February 13, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • February 15, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Victor received treatment at Hospital Pediatrico Robert Reid Cabral.

  • February 21, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Victor's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 07, 2017
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Victor's treatment update from Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Victor is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 33 donors

Funded by 33 donors

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

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.