to help us reach our 25,000th patient 💙
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Stephanie from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund prep for cardiac surgery.

Stephanie
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Stephanie's treatment was fully funded on February 1, 2018.

Photo of Stephanie post-operation

January 30, 2018

Stephanie underwent cardiac surgery.

During surgery, the team was able to repair Stephanie’s valve so that it opens and closes more normally without needing to be replaced. She should now be able to live a normal life without further symptoms from this condition.

She says, “I made so many new friends while I was away from home, and I am looking forward to staying in touch with all of them!”

During surgery, the team was able to repair Stephanie's valve so that it opens and closes more normally without needing to be replaced. She ...

Read more
December 14, 2017

Stephanie is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and younger brothers and sisters in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She is in the tenth grade and hopes to become a doctor when she grows up. Stephanie has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged from a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood. It can no longer pump blood adequately through her body, leaving her in heart failure.

Stephanie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On December 15, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will either repair the damaged valve, or replace it with an implanted artificial valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $24,000 to pay for surgery.

Stephanie’s family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Stephanie’s family overseas.

She says, “I am happy to have this surgery so that I can walk to and from school without getting tired.”

Stephanie is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and younger brothers and sisters in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She is i...

Read more

Stephanie's Timeline

  • December 14, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • December 15, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Stephanie received treatment at Health City Cayman Islands in Cayman Islands. 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.

  • December 15, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Stephanie's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 30, 2018
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Stephanie's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • February 1, 2018
    FULLY FUNDED

    Stephanie's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,980 for Stephanie's treatment
Subsidies fund $480 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$450
Medication
$360
Supplies
$0
Travel
$900
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.

Josiah

Josiah is a curious and playful two-year-old. He lives with his parents and his sibling in a small, rented house. To support their family, his mother sells face masks at a local shopping area and his father does various jobs, depending on what work is available at the time. When Josiah was one years old, his parents noticed that one of his testes had not descended. After taking their son to a nearby hospital to be examined, they were told to wait a few months to see if the testes would descend. More than six months later, the condition had not changed, and Josiah was referred to our medical partner BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. His family managed to raise enough money to bring Josiah in for examination, and upon arrival, he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, he would have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Josiah's family could not raise the amount of money required for his surgery alone. Fortunately, he will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Josiah is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 4th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Josiah’s mother says, “After hearing the consequences of his condition if not treated, I was very much worried for him since we cannot afford his treatment.”

19% funded

19%funded
$124raised
$522to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.