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Success! Chivensky from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund diagnostic heart catheterization.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Chivensky's treatment was fully funded on July 9, 2018.

Photo of Chivensky post-operation

May 30, 2018

Chivensky underwent diagnostic heart catheterization.

During the procedure, a catheter was used to measure the pressures in different parts of Chivensky’s heart, to determine whether he can safely have surgery. The results show that he can potentially have surgery, but with elevated risk. Now, Haiti Cardiac Alliance will begin to consult with surgical partners to determine whether there is a hospital willing to accept Chivensky for surgery to repair his heart.

During the procedure, a catheter was used to measure the pressures in different parts of Chivensky's heart, to determine whether he can safe...

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May 23, 2018

Chivensky is a toddler from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, where his mother and father share custody of him during the week. He attends preschool and likes drawing and watching cartoons.

Chivensky has a cardiac condition called venticular septal defect. A hole exist between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. Because the defect has gone unrepaired, he also suffers from a condition called pulmonary hypertension that may or may not prevent him from being able to have heart surgery—the only way to know is to perform a diagnostic catheterization.

To determine if Chivensky’s condition is operable, he must undergo a diagnostic cardiac catheterization, a procedure that is not available in Haiti. During the procedure, a catheter probe will be inserted into his heart to perform the necessary measurements and tests. On May 23, he will travel to the Dominican Republic to receive the scan at our medical partner’s care center, Clinica Corominas.

Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to cover the costs of Chivensky’s travel expenses, catheterization procedure, and lab work.

His father says, “Our family will be praying that the test brings good news, and that our son can go on to have heart surgery soon!”

Chivensky is a toddler from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, where his mother and father share custody of him during the...

Read more

Chivensky's Timeline

  • May 23, 2018

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

  • May 23, 2018

    Chivensky received 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 24, 2018

    Chivensky's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 30, 2018

    Chivensky's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • July 9, 2018

    Chivensky's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

Diagnostic Heart Catheterization
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $3,790 for Chivensky's treatment
Subsidies fund $2,290 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Hannah is a farmer and the 62-year-old mother of four kids. All her children are now grown. She lost her husband in 2014 who was the sole breadwinner for their family. Hannah does not have a job and grows food crops for home use. She depends on her children and some relatives to help pay for her medical bills. Hannah was using her husband's medical insurance but since his death, she has no medical coverage. She recently registered for a national insurance program, but it will be not be eligible for funding for at least a month or longer and her surgery is urgent. Hannah first started feeling a painless lump on her left breast in early 2020 but she did not feel alarmed. She felt better but seven months ago, the painful swelling recurred. She went to a government facility and then Hannah recently visited Kijabe Hospital. Doctors their ordered several tests including a CT scan and core biopsy which revealed cancer of the left breast. She needs surgery to control the spread of the cancer. Hannah has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $,1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Hannah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 24th. After treatment, Hannah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Hannah says, “I worry I have nothing to smile about. I am scared and in pain. If left untreated, this cancer will spread and even cause death. I need this surgery urgently to stop this.”

70% funded

$324to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.