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.
Dec 17, 2013

Inaugural Mission Completed in December

Raquel (3) Feeling Better
Raquel (3) Feeling Better

During an intense week of pediatric heart surgery, local team training, surveys of remaining equipment and supply needs as well as management systems, and meetings with top-raking government officials, 10 children received free surgery at the hands of the local doctors collaborating with our visiting team.

This mission was the inaugural mission to our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua.  The team was led by our President, Eduardo da Cruz, MD, (cardiologist) and James Jaggers, MD, (cardiac surgeon), both of Children's Hospital Colorado, who drew their team from their own hospital.  Many team members were thrilled to be included in this historically meaningful trip, as they had been members of earlier mission teams since our involvement at La Mascota Children's Hospital began in December, 2008, with a team from Denver. 

What a change it was!  The floor plan of the new Pediatric Heart Center is a replica of the Children's Hospital Colorado, so it seemed like  home.  The new hospital is clean, shiny, sterile, and being supplied with the latest in modern equipment, thanks to Surgeons of Hope and our Global Giving donors who help us to make this possible.  Many, many good-hearted people are pitching in bit by bit to make this project come together.

Our regional director for the Nicaragua project, Philippe Lerch, spent time with the families whose children were selected for life-saving surgery, and our medical team fully involved themselves, too, non-stop.  Little Raquel, who is three years old, needed some comfort one day after her surgery, and Mr. Lerch remembered that he had some Crayola crayons in his briefcase.  Raquel put the crayone to good use immediately as the photo proves.  She went home to complete her recuperation, as did the other children.

The good that our Global Giving donors bring to our program cannot be measured.  It's huge.  Please consider joining in celebrating this inaugural mission by supporting our efforts to complete the equipping and supplying phase at the new Heart Center.  Your year-end dollars gather with other donations to bring about great progress.    We still need you, as do the children whom we help.  Help us to help them. 

Surgery In Progress by the Denver Team
Surgery In Progress by the Denver Team
Inaugural Mission Team Gathers for Photo
Inaugural Mission Team Gathers for Photo
Philippe Lerch Speaking with Children
Philippe Lerch Speaking with Children's Parents

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Nov 18, 2013

Inaugural Mission Set for December

Philippe Lerch (l.) and Michel Berty (r.), SoH
Philippe Lerch (l.) and Michel Berty (r.), SoH

2013 has been a year of tremendous progress for our program in Nicaragua, from sponsoring surgical missions to completing construction of our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua.  This achievement would not have been possible without the support of our Global Giving donors and friends, some of whom gave significantly, and some who gave generously from limited resources, but all are appreciated.  We did this together.

In July, the new Heart Center hosted a celebration which drew a large audience to hear speeches, to see a commemorative plaque unveiled, and to remember those who worked so hard to bring it about. 

And now, after diligent efforts to continue the equipping and supplying of the new, modern facility, the honor of the inaugural teaching surgical mission to ever visit the new Heart Center is given to Eduardo da Cruz, MD, SoH President, partnered with noted cardiac surgeon, James Jaggers, MD, both of whom are colleagues at Children's Hospital of Colorado.  Their team is drawn from the excellent medical staff at their own hospital, many of whom have gone on the early surgical mission trips to our program in Managua.

This larger-than-usual team includes experts in equipment maintenance and repair, hospital inventory systems, and childhood heart disease prevention.

Symbolizing the continuation of collaborative support from both the American and European teams, the second mission, scheduled for early 2014, will be led by noted pediatric heart surgeon, Dr. Daniel DeWolfe, and his mission team from CdE Belgium (La Chaine de l'Espoir--Belgique).

Returning to the SoH offices in New York this week for pre-mission details, Philippe Lerch, Director of the Nicaragua program, described the impact of the recent outbreak of dengue fever which hospitalized 64 children and brought an all-out effort to provide transfusion equipment to the main hospital.  Latest dengue victim statistics are showing improvement in recent reports.  Board member Michel Berty stopped in to greet him and receive an update.

The new Heart Center is already becoming the hub of activity, Mr. Lerch reports.  Two areas are showing robust activity:  the Cardiology offices are now open and busy with visitors who can enjoy the air contitioned rooms or the new flower gardens where benches are being added to already installed swings for the children.  Also, the pre-operative rooms when children and their families stay comfortably while they are awaiting tests and their appointment for surgery.

Mr. Lerch proudly indicated that Surgeons of Hope has the first public heart hospital in Nicaragua.  We remain grateful for your participation in our achievement.

As we near the end of the year, we hope that you will enjoy the convivialty of peace the the season offers, and that when you think of your end-of-the-year giving, you will remember Surgeons of Hope and the truly amazing work that we are doing to bring hope to the young children of Nicaragua.  We thank you most sincerely for your spontaneous and heartfelt compassion and generosity.

Plaque Unveiled at July Ceremony
Plaque Unveiled at July Ceremony
One of Two New Operating Rooms
One of Two New Operating Rooms
New Heart Center Ready to Welcome Patients
New Heart Center Ready to Welcome Patients

Links:

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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