Oct 16, 2018

Juan's Heart Gets Repaired In Spite of Difficulty

Juan is starting to feel better
Juan is starting to feel better

An unstable political atmosphere in Nicaragua, and particularly in Managua, has led to reports of continuing violence and street riots.  Of paramount importance to Surgeons of Hope is the safety and well-being of our surgical teams when they visit our Pediatric Heart Center to provide training.  Of course, our caring extends to the doctors, nurses, staff and patients in the Center. We continue to monitor the situation and provide assistance from a distance in the form of consultations and answering the ongoing need for supplies and other support.

In the midst of daily uncertainty, Dr. Mejia, Director of our program at the heart center, reports that he and his surgical/medical staff were recently faced with needing to operate on a child who suffered from a difficult congenital condition.  Time was of the essence to save little Juan’s life.  So, Dr. Mejia and his team recalled their training and meticulously examined their surgical options.  The operation was scheduled.  The child awoke in the ICU, suffering no complications. Parents can imagine the grateful, relieved expressions on the faces of Juan’s parents when the ordeal was over.

Today, Juan is at home completing his recuperation. This accomplishment is proof that the Surgeons of Hope program works in the best possible way to bring first-world health care to countries where it is most needed. 

We have a team from Madrid, Spain, prepared to visit Managua in early 2019.  They are also planning catheterization lab training for a technician and a nurse, to occur at the same time. The help is there; the delivery is just a bit delayed.

Through it all, our GlobalGiving friends are continuing to support our program, and that support is needed.  The ultimate aim for a sustained success for Nicaragua is to create a strong network of cooperating hospitals throughout Latin America, each supporting the others. 

Please consider joining our population of GlobalGiving supporters.  We could not do it without you.

Hospital continues to offer surgery
Hospital continues to offer surgery
Heart Center carries on with our help
Heart Center carries on with our help

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Jul 20, 2018

Baby boy gets surgery in spite of turmoil

Baby (BB) recovering after surgery
Baby (BB) recovering after surgery

Troubling news reports from Nicaragua indicate that the political situation is unstable, although our hope is for prompt resolution. The short-term effect is that our next volunteer medical team is postponing their trip until the situation settles.

This story, though, is one of hope and achievement, and a baby’s heart repaired by the local team at our Heart Center in Nicaragua because it was necessary. The baby boy’s life was in danger, so the local team stepped up, recalling our training and resolving to do the surgery.

In June, a six-month old baby boy was carried to our Heart Center and diagnosed with an obstructed total anomalous pulmonary venous return. He couldn't wait. The situation was dire, and the local team had never done a surgical repair of that type. They were hesitant to try. They discussed it and decided that there was no other option. Surgery was scheduled.

Following intense but skilled surgery, the baby boy spent some extra time in intensive care with Dr. Varga. At first, he suffered from a touch of pneumonia, but his heart was growing stronger, and so was he.  While the streets were awash with violence, the local medical team at our Heart Center came through and so did the baby boy.

 Known only to the hospital as Baby (BB), son of his mother, according to the custom that children do not have names until they go home, little BB is now at home in the rural village of Matagalpa, strengthening every day. He will be able to claim the childhood and the name that is to be his.

These doctors and nurses continue to realize a dream, their goal and ours.  They want to be able to take care of their patients, even in the toughest conditions. What they just pulled off is incredible. 

 As a Global Giving donor to our life-saving work in Nicaragua, you are helping us to do amazing work. And you have a grand opportunity to help us to help these dedicated doctors to work through the weeks of turmoil. We remain grateful.

BB (six month old) recovering from surgery
BB (six month old) recovering from surgery
Baby BB visiting with his doctor
Baby BB visiting with his doctor
Baby BB is feeling better
Baby BB is feeling better

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Apr 23, 2018

Little Nelson Gets a Major Heart Repair

Nelson and his parents arrive for his surgery
Nelson and his parents arrive for his surgery

Progress continues at our Heart Center in Nicaragua, as Surgeons of Hope has sent surgical training missions regularly since our last report to our GlobalGiving donors.  Recent missions have included a team from France in March (they have been visiting annually since 2007) and a team from Spain who brought 20 professionals along to provide surgery and training in April.

The French team leader, who has led every French mission as the head surgeon from the beginning, said, “This is exactly why I love doing what I do, sharing my knowledge, teaching them how to do this type of surgery. The team here has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to come back to Managua.

During his week there, his team operated on nine children, including a six-month old infant named Nelson, who came through a very complex procedure, and went home from the hospital 10 days later with a repaired heart.  His heart was malformed at birth. To survive and thrive, he needed a procedure which had been developed in 1967 by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The surgery is known as a Rastelli procedure.

This story illustrates the work being done at our Heart Center in Nicaragua, thanks in huge part to the caring of our GlobalGiving donors who have supported us generously from the beginning.  Your donations add up and make real progress.

In April we sent a team from the children’s hospital in Madrid, Spain who provided surgery and training to another group of little patients, all the while providing hands-on training for the medical staff at the Heart Center.

All of this progress is assisted by your donations which in turn buy supplies to augment the supplies that team members bring with them in their luggage.  Bit by bit, the Heart Center is growing in its ability to self-supply, but more needs to be done. Babies need warming blankets to bring them back from the chill of surgery (infants cannot warm themselves as their bodies do not have a shivering ability), and other medicines and supplies are essential daily needs.

We appreciate you, our faithful GlobalGiving friends and supporters. 

Team confers about patient
Team confers about patient
Main Entrance to Heart Center
Main Entrance to Heart Center
Examination underway
Examination underway

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