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

Berthony
100%
  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
$1,500
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Berthony's treatment was fully funded on January 8, 2018.

Photo of Berthony post-operation

October 9, 2017

Berthony underwent cardiac surgery.

During surgery, Berthony’s damaged aortic valve was removed and replaced with an artificial valve; and his mitral valve was repaired. His heart is now better able to pump blood through his body, and he can be fully active without becoming tired.

He says, “I would like to share my deepest thanks with everyone who helped make this surgery possible for me!”

During surgery, Berthony's damaged aortic valve was removed and replaced with an artificial valve; and his mitral valve was repaired. His he...

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August 18, 2017

Berthony is a 24-year-old young man from Haiti. He lives with his mother in Port-au-Prince. Berthony is currently a university student studying engineering. When not studying, he enjoys making art.

Berthony has a cardiac condition called severe mitral and aortic regurgitation, a result of rheumatic fever he had in adolescence. Due to his condition, blood backs up into his heart and does not properly circulate throughout his body.

On August 18, Berthony will be flown to the Dominican Republic, where he will be treated at our medical partner’s care center, Hospital Pediatrico Robert Reid Cabral. Mitral Foundation has contributed $10,000 towards Berthony’s care. His 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 his family.

“I would like to thank all of my supporters for working so hard to make my surgery possible, I know it has not been easy!” says Berthony.

Berthony is a 24-year-old young man from Haiti. He lives with his mother in Port-au-Prince. Berthony is currently a university student study...

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Berthony's Timeline

  • August 18, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • August 18, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Berthony 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.

  • September 18, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Berthony's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 9, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Berthony's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 8, 2018
    FULLY FUNDED

    Berthony's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

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

Roy

Roy is 1-year-old baby boy and the only child in his family. After he was born, his father stopped supporting Roy and his mother. Roy and his mother moved to his grandmother's home, and his grandmother sells farm products to sustain them. His mother is not able to work because Roy needs her attention, but sometimes she does some casual jobs when she can bring Roy along. The family does not have insurance and is asking for financial help. Two weeks after Roy was born, his mother noticed that his stomach was swollen and he was not passing stool. She rushed him to a nearby hospital for examination and Roy was urgently referred to another facility where he underwent a colostomy. His mother was informed that Roy was born with a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. The facility Roy was at stopped offering surgeries and so he was referred to our medical partner's care center Bethany Kids Hospital for surgery. Roy is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Roy's procedure and care. After his recovery, Roy will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Roy’s mother says, “I would like my child to grow up healthy as other kids so that I can be independent and provide for him.”

66% funded

66%funded
$992raised
$508to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.