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John is a student from Haiti who needs $1,500 to fund heart surgery.

John
93%
  • $1,405 raised, $95 to go
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$95
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August 20, 2019

John is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a coastal city in northwest Haiti. He is about to start the second grade. John has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent his body from getting the oxygen it needs.

John will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On September 12, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve.. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $15000.0 to pay for surgery.

John’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 John’s family overseas.

From John’s father: “We are hopeful that our son will be able to live more normally once his surgery is over.”

John is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a coastal city in northwest Haiti. He is about to start the se...

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John's Timeline

  • August 20, 2019
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • September 12, 2019
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    John was scheduled to receive treatment at Health City 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.

  • September 15, 2019
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    John's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    John is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting John's treatment update from Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

Treatment
Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,980 for John'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.

Iqram

Iqram is a young boy from Tanzania. Iqram is a two-year-old boy, the only child to his parents, who struggles to stretch his right hand due to a burn scar contractures. The playful boy was playing with his friends when he went back to his mother's house and by accident, fell on hot milk sustaining burns on his right side, especially his right hand. He spent a month in the hospital where the wounds were nursed and successfully healed. However, his right elbow skin healed with contractures. The contractures restrain Iqram's ability to fully stretch and use his hand. The family has not been able to raise funds for a contracture release surgery, but their hope for help remains. Iqram's father is a casual labourer at a factory and his mother a housewife. Their income is little to meet the treatment cost. They hope to have Iqram's hand released and be able to use it with ease especially when he joins the school. Iqram's aunt referred them to our facility when she learnt of an outreach program and upon review, he had contracture release recommended. Iqram's parents appeal for financial assistance Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Iqram receive treatment. On September 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to The surgery will allow Iqram to fully stretch his hand, restoring ability to utilize it. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Iqram’s mother says, “My son’s life will be very challenging if he not able to have his hand corrected please help him."

73% funded

73%funded
$611raised
$221to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.