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.
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