Surgeons of Hope Foundation, Inc.

Surgeons of Hope's purpose is to bring local access to modern surgical care for indigent children with heart disease in Latin America. By building sustainable state-of-the-art pediatric cardiac hospitals, Surgeons of Hope provides lasting care to these children. Our motto "It's not only what we bring. It's what we leave behind" underscores our commitment to educating and sharing skills with our training programs that will enhance understanding and treatment of care.
Aug 19, 2013

New Heart Center Opens

The entranceway at the new Heart Center
The entranceway at the new Heart Center

On July 23 the ribbon was cut to open the main doors of our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua.  Officials and the media gathered to mark the occasion with speeches, music, and dance.  A tour of the new facility followed and included a bedside visit to see little Martha, (2), the first child to receive an operation in the new building.  The smiling face of Martha's mother said more than words can convey.

It is important to note with appreciation the role of our GlobalGiving friends who have brought us this far.  While the opening is a grand achievement, the hospital is only half-furnished with equipment and supplies.  One of the two operating rooms and four of the Intensive Care units are ready for use; the other half is still coming.  That's where GlobalGiving continues to make essential contributions.  Our main project "Healing Children's Hearts in Nicaragua" helps to fund the surgeries and training, and our little mircroproject "Keeping Infants Warm After Heart Surgery--GlobalGiving # 14408" is poking along to supply warming blankets, a vital detail to an infant's quick recovery after surgery.  Both projects are necessary; both projects are active. 

A bit more about Martha and her mother:  They come from a small village in Nicaragua, called Valle de la Laguna (Valley of the Lake), near Grenada.  Because Martha's father did not remain with the family, Martha and her mother live with grandmother.  The problem that Martha was having was a chronic case of pneumonia because her heart was not functioning well enough.  Now, after her surgery, what they call a DAP procedure, things are much better.

There will be more surgical missions in the fall, October and early December, to continue ongoing training in the new Heart Center, but what a wonderful Center it is.   Alan Tellez, the heart surgeon at the Heart Center, is forever grateful for the improvement and the modern equipment, joining his staff in appreciation for this most up-to-date facility.  Dr. Mejia called it a giant step for Nicaragua, and that it was, and continues to be, with your help.

Please consider a donation in celebration of what you and Surgeons of Hope have created together.  Your donation will be put to work in supporting upcoming surgical training missions and providing the necessary supplies.

A local children
A local children's dance troupe performs
Ribbon is cut to open the new Heart Center
Ribbon is cut to open the new Heart Center
Touring the Heart Center with the Health Minister
Touring the Heart Center with the Health Minister
Little Martha with her mother
Little Martha with her mother
Some of the people who worked hard
Some of the people who worked hard

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Jul 11, 2013

International Team Completes June Mission

Intensive Concentration is Needed After Surgery
Intensive Concentration is Needed After Surgery

Eight infants and children received live-saving open-heart surgery between June 22 and 30, from our 10-member international team of medical professional gathered from children's hospitals in France, Colombia, and Palestine.  Although the team had hoped to inaugurate our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua by being the first team to perform surgery there, unforeseen delays in equipment installation made that impossible, and the team was invited to use the operating room facilities in the neighboring La Mascota Children's Hospital.

Philippe Lerch, our Regional Director stationed in Managua, reported this week that the health ministry (MINSA) has assigned a full-time technician to speed the equipment installation along.

We are pleased to report that Emily, a little girl from a remote village in Nicaragua, will be scheduled for her surgery during the November mission.  During this mission, she made the trip from her village to Managua to be seen by Dr. Mireya Araica, Cardiologist at La Mascota, and by our team leader and head surgeon, Dr. Dominique Metras of France. Unfortunately, Emily was suffereing from a bit of pneumonia, so Drs. Araica and Metras recommended that her surgery wait until the pneumonia clears up.  Emily came to our attention when a volunteer organization from Colorado visited her village as part of their project to bring better living conditions, and later contacted us to see if our program in Nicaragua could help her with her heart problem.  They have been instrumental in helping to arrange for Emily's transportation from her village to Managua. 

Work continues on the supplying of the new hospital.  We have launched a new microproject through Global Giving to provide warming blankets for infants following surgery when their hearts and bodies need to be chilled down.  After surgery, it is vital to get them warmed up quickly, as their little bodies have not developed the capacity for temperature regulation. Our microproject can be found at http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/warming-children-after-heart-surgery/

Please join with us and Global Giving in continuing your support of our project to provide access to heart surgery in Latin America.  Your continuing support is making it happen.

Emerging from Surgery with the Team
Emerging from Surgery with the Team
Team Conference in the ICU
Team Conference in the ICU
New Pediatric Heart Center
New Pediatric Heart Center

Links:

Jun 3, 2013

New Heart Center to Open this Month

Collaborative Team Gathers
Collaborative Team Gathers

June will bring tremendous progress to Surgeons of Hope's program in Nicaragua with the opening of the new Pediatric Heart Center, adjacent to La Mascota Children's Hospital in Managua.  The Health Ministry of Nicaragua is equally excited about this first opening, which will be a phased-in program, featuring the opening of one of the two operating rooms, and half of the ICU unit furnished.  The formal Grand Opening is scheduled for 2014, but this opening will be celebrated as the first surgical mission team will gather in late June, coming from France, Palestine, and Colombia, to perform the first surgeries in the new facility.  The team of ten is looking forward to their historic role in providing access to pediatric open-heart surgery for the poor in Nicaragua.

Surgeons of Hope has been working hard to provide furnishings for the new Center.  A new operating room table is on its way from Germany, and operating room lights are being sent as a donation from a hospital in Delaware. Two huge shipping containers full of ICU beds and regular hospital beds, monitoring equipment and supplies have arrived safely in Managua from New York (AFYA) and Denver (Project CURE).  They have cleared Customs, and are awaiting trucking from the Health Ministry warehouse to the new Heart Center.  Philippe Lerch, our SoH Regional Director for the Nicaragua Program, is in Managua to oversee the furnishing of the new Center, and he is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the trucks bearing the new equipment and supplies.

While the donations of supplies and equipment have been on-going, Surgeons of Hope still needs you, our GlobalGiving family.  Your faithfulness to our efforts is a great joy to us, as your donations will provide for the necessities that accompany this equipping effort.  The local staff at La Mascota is earnest in welcoming the improvements to their pediatric care capabilities, but there are real challenges that remain.  While they wish to be able to do a better job with sterilization, for example, they are hampered by lack of the supplies that are necessary to achieve that progress.  Everything from pump dispensers for hand soap and right up the supply ladder is sorely needed. That's where our GlobalGiving team comes in.

Please consider doing what you can to help and if you are a past donor, please give again. 

Existing Anesthesia Conditions
Existing Anesthesia Conditions
New Operating Room Ready for Equipment
New Operating Room Ready for Equipment
Team Prepares to Unpack Surgical Supplies
Team Prepares to Unpack Surgical Supplies

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