Wow! What an incredible week our Babyheart team had in Santiago, Dominican Republic, May 23 through 30! Eight children received life-saving operations. Our youngest patient was 4 days old and was born with a very complex diagnosis of tricuspid atresia and pulmonary atresia. Our team performed a palliative surgery to insert a modified Blalock Taussig Shunt that will allow him to grow until he can have a Glenn procedure.
Local team makes great strides in caring for complex patients
The Babyheart team operated on several small patients, the smallest weighing only 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds)! Our oldest patient was 6 years old, and only two of the patients weighed more than 6 kilograms (12 pounds). The ability of the local team to care for these small and complex patients after surgery is proof of the growth and development of the ICHF program over the last several years. Roodney, one of the two Haitian children to receive surgery on this trip, and Jowell still remained in the ICU when the Babyheart team left, but the local team in Santiago took wonderful care of them.
Doctors and volunteers from around the world join forces to save lives
The ICHF team also was excited to have Dr. Hernan Montero, pediatric cardiac surgeon from Guayaquil, Ecuador, with us on our trip to Santiago. Dr. Montero is the leader of the team at the Icaza Bustamante children’s hospital, where ICHF is working to build a sustainable program. Not only was it a great opportunity for Dr. Montero to see additional cases and experience a medical mission in a different country, he was also an asset to the ICHF team by taking the lead on some key cases. It was great to see him and our other surgeon, Dr. Isaac Heredia from Santiago, working together in the OR with supervision from Dr. Soto.
ICHF is also grateful to all of our dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the week caring for patients and performing ongoing teaching for the staff. We were again an international team made up of volunteers from Denmark, London, Chile, Honduras, Ecuador and the United States.
The Babyheart team has 10 more trips planned for 2015. As we look ahead to those trips, we ask our dedicated supporters to consider continued giving. It’s easy. Visit our giving page to learn more about various levels and to donate now. Children and families will be forever changed because of your generosity!