Jul 5, 2017

Equipment Shipped to the Children's Heart Center

Allan, 10, from Grenada, is recovering well.
Allan, 10, from Grenada, is recovering well.

We are grateful for your commitment to helping NY-based Surgeons of Hope through GlobalGiving. Opened in 2012, our new pediatric heart center in Managua continues to strengthen its readiness to tackle any surgical challenge.  Also, as you know, this progress has not happened overnight, but rather steadily due to the unflagging efforts of our hospital directed Dr. Gerardo and his medical team. 

After years of progress children pictured in this report can receive complex open-heart surgery at the hands of the local team, operating ably on their own.  Little 4-year-old Angel, for example, was brought to our modern heart center by his mother, Teresa, all the way from Matagalpa where they live in poverty.  An 80-mile journey is arduous lacking the benefit of comfortable public transportation (if they had the fare) or good roads.  But, once the distance is covered, care is waiting for them at no cost to the patient or his family.

Surgeons of Hope is a small organization, dependent upon the help of donors, large and small.  Our donations aid our program to continue the progress you see in the photos.  It is as simple as that.  You, our GlobalGiving donors, have been such a large and generous part of what we have accomplished…what you see in the photos is what you have helped to bring about.

If you are a relatively new donor to Surgeons of Hope, then you can appreciate how we at Surgeons of Hope are fulfilling our mission to bring advanced heart surgery and treatment to Central America, notably beginning in Nicaragua. 

This month we will be sending an echo-cardiograph machine to the pediatric heart center in Managua to help with the steady stream of little patients needing screening and monitoring; and we have been able to purchase some much-needed syringe pumps.  In August we are sending another surgical training team for a week, and in October, another surgical team will go from the children’s hospital in Madrid, Spain.

We thank you deeply.  And, although the kids we help do not know how the progress has come about and how Surgeons of Hope has helped, it is enough to know that we, together with you, made the difference.

Little Angel, 4, is within reach of his mother.
Little Angel, 4, is within reach of his mother.
Artenis, 16 months, is ready for her surgery.
Artenis, 16 months, is ready for her surgery.
Sury, 4 months, from Managua, recovering well.
Sury, 4 months, from Managua, recovering well.

Links:

Apr 5, 2017

Team from Mexico Discovers Need for Syringe Pumps

In recovery after surgery, helped by syringe pump
In recovery after surgery, helped by syringe pump

Just this month, a team of 10 specialists traveled from the Children's Hospital of Mexico City intent upon providing surgery and follow-up to 10 impoverished children at our new Pediatric Heart Center in Managua, Nicaragua.  Our modern hospital stands on the campus of La Mascota Children's Hospital, just across a parking lot from the main building, two facilities in stark contrast with each other.  Completed in 2013, our heart center is the most modern of facilities, a replica of the children's hospital in Denver, Colorado.  What stands on either side of that parking lot is indicative of many of the divides in our world today.  The divide we are working to close every day is access or lack of access to modern medical care.  Children born with malformed or underfunctioning little hearts can be treated in developed-world medical centers, but those born in places like Managua could not even hope for such care, until our Heart Center brought that care across the divide.  

This March Mission from Mexico was a resounding success.  The volunteer team of brilliant Mexican medical personnel provided surgery led by pediatric surgeon Dr. Sergio. They set to work upon arrival, mending and reconstructing the hearts of infants and children, repairing equipment as needed, and toggling equipment as needed to stay on course. One great and apparent need is for syringe pumps that have six ports so that they can dispense regularized, precise doses of post-op medicines to the little patients in the ICU, children recovering from open heart surgery.  While the patient is in recovery, the medicines need to do their work accurately and in balance.

We need you, in partnership with us, to continue to step up to narrow this gap in access to care, and in appreciation to this hard-working talented team from Mexico, to answer this need for automated syringe pumps.  The local nurses are making great strides in training; they certainly are growing in their capabilities, but modern surgery needs modern equipment.

This week, beginning Monday, April 3, GlobalGiving will match your donation of $50 OR LESS in appreciation of the small donors in the world who, together, can make a huge difference.  Our Little By Little campaign is on.  GlobalGiving will match at 50% your small donation.  If you were to donate $50, they would pitch in an additional $25.  The minimum donation is $10.  SMALL CHANGE CAN ADD UP TO BIG CHANGE IN THE WORLD.  

Please decide to give during this Little By Little campaign week.  Together, a little at a time, we are demonstrating the kind of change in the world that leads to even more change.  

Dr. Sergio, the surgeon, comes for a visit.
Dr. Sergio, the surgeon, comes for a visit.
Babies in ICU following successful surgery.
Babies in ICU following successful surgery.
Team dinner upon arrival.
Team dinner upon arrival.

Links:

Feb 22, 2017

Team from Belgium Saves Lives at Heart Center

Heynes is recovering nicely following surgery.
Heynes is recovering nicely following surgery.

January set a milestone of achievement for the local team of talented doctors and nurses who are now working on their own saving lives of Nicaragua's babies and children in need of surgery on their young hearts.  14 operations were performed by the local team without the supervision of visiting teams, evidencing great progress, and a giant leap toward independent sustainability at our new Heart Center in Managua.  This progress is proof-positive that the mission model of Surgeons of Hope works and works well.

Also in January, a visiting team from Belgium spent a week at our Pediatric Heart Center, operating on an additional 10 children and working with their colleagues on the local team.  Led by Dr. Katrien, pictured in an accompanying photo, the team of 16 specialists from the best children's hospitals in Belgium kept to an exhausting schedule.   Their fluency in Spanish facilitated easy communication with the local team.

Speaking of the dedication of Dr. Katrien, Surgeons of Hope Executive Director Charles-Edouard described her as a "true humanitarian, an archetype of what we look for."  He noted that she speaks numerous languages fluently including Spanish, and that she is able to speak effectively with the medical team and local government officials to get things done on behalf of the Heart Center.

At 15 years of age, Heynes received desperately-needed surgery in January from the Belgian team who used his medical situation as a valuable teaching surgery for the local team.  He had needed surgery for a long time.  Each year that passed without help for his condition made his condition that much worse, but being from a small town, Las Cuchillas, near Lake Nicaragua, no help was possible.  Then his parents, Maria and Antonio, struggling to raise their family on a small farm plot, learned of the work being done by Surgeons of Hope at our new Heart Center in Managua.  Heynes was selected for open-heart surgery at the hands of the Belgian team.  He received what is called a "Ross Procedure" to correct a situation where his heart vessels were too small, leading to abnormally high blood pressure, and a stressed heart which had had to work harder and harder to keep him alive.  His heart was in trouble.  

Now, Heynes' life is returned to the normalcy that is usual for a 15 year old.  Think of the gift that this surgery represents to the family and their lives.  Clearly, this is what we do, but we do it with the help of our GlobalGiving donors.  You make our program work and work well.  For all of that, and more, we thank you for helping us to help the children for whom we, and you, and their only hope.

Dr. Katrien (2nd from left) discussing surgery.
Dr. Katrien (2nd from left) discussing surgery.
Local team doctor Prado on rounds.
Local team doctor Prado on rounds.

Links:

 
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