Health
 China
Project #10838

Cure child heart disease in Yunnan Province, China

by China California Heart Watch
Vetted
Li Li today, at age 19
Li Li today, at age 19

Li Li lives with her mother and younger brother in one of the poorest places in China, Cang Yuan County in Yunnan Province. In her town, farming families live in bamboo huts without running water or electricity and have yearly incomes of a few hundred dollars. In 2012, at the age of 15, Li Li lost her father to severe pancreatic disease. That same year, her heart disease (mitral stenosis and regurgitation) began to get worse. Soon, she could only walk a few steps before becoming short of breath, and she could no longer attend school.

Staff of the China California Heart Watch first met Li Li in 2012, when visiting her hometown. At the time, it was easy to see that Li Li had only about a year to live if nothing was done to correct her heart defects. The China California Heart Watch referred Li Li to a famous cardiac surgeon, Professor An Qi at Cheng Du West China Hospital, and through the generous support of our donors, we were able to fund her surgery.

Professor An replaced her deformed valve with a prosthesis. Unfortunately, however, that was only the beginning. A few days after her surgery, Li Li developed a fever. Tests showed that she had an infection on her new valve. Upon hearing this news, China California Heart Watch staff immediately flew to Cheng Du and met with Professor An and the infectious disease team at West China Hospital. Antibiotic treatment was started and continued for six weeks to rid her body and her new valve of the infection. Six weeks later, Li Li returned to her home town in Cang Yuan County with her mother and brother. Today, Li Li travels two hours every week to the country hospital for blood tests, so she can regulate her blood thinning medicine.

Li Li returned to school and China Cal visited in Cang Yuan County Hospital last month. We learned that Li Li can now climb the stairs at school and help her mother with house and garden work. The local Federation for Disabled Persons helps her family. She studies hard every day, and she wants to attend university and become a doctor.

Who made this possible? You, our supporters and donors, gave this bright girl the chance to be healthy. She now has hope, and she wishes to serve her country and other children in the future. Please keep helping the China California Heart Watch in its efforts to bring attention to and reduce the suffering of children living with heart disease in Yunnan.

15 year old Liang
15 year old Liang

About three months ago, the China California Heart Watch identified two young children in need of your help.

First is Liang, a 15 year old girl from Zhaotong Prefecture in Yunnan Province. Her Mom and Dad are farmers, and their income is only 5000 Yuan (about $800) per year. She has severe leakage of one of her heart valves, which is abnormally formed, a condition known as tricuspid valve incompetence. This condition is relatively rare and surgical treatment is expensive and can only be done at special centers. Liang is frequently short of breath and cannot participate in physical education or dance classes, though her dream is to learn Chinese and Western classical ballet. Fortunately, Liang can receive excellent surgical treatment from Professor Wu Qin Yu of Beijing’s Qing Hua University Hua Xin Affiliate Hospital. The China California Heart Watch was able to raise $3000 at a benefit dinner for Liang on January 24, but she needs another $7,000 to cover the cost of her surgical treatment in Beijing.

Finally, Xing is a 6 year old boy with complex congenital heart disease. Both his aorta and his pulmonary artery are attached to the same ventricle and his aorta is partially blocked, a condition known as coarctation. He lives in Teng Chong County, Yunnan. His father and mother are farmers. Their total yearly income is 30,000 yuan (about $4,800). Xing was born with only one pumping chamber in his heart instead of two chambers. This is a very severe kind of heart disease that should be corrected in infancy. Xing is lucky because the nature of his heart disease is such that, even at this relatively late age, it can be cured with surgery. Operation for this kind of heart disease costs about 50,000 yuan ($8,000) or about two years income for this family. This surgery is only partially covered by rural health insurance (10%) and not at all by Chinese charitable foundations. Xing’s family can raise 15,000 yuan ($2,400). They need an additional 35,000 yuan ($5,600) to pay for their son’s surgery.

Can you help the China California Heart Watch ensure that each child has access to the surgeries they need by making a donation today?

Thank you for your kind and continued support.

6 year old Xing
6 year old Xing
Little Peng
Little Peng

This fall, two children came to the China California Heart Watch clinics in Yunnan with complex, expensive, and hard-to-repair heart disease. The Chinese Red Cross Organization and other foundations turned down surgical support for these children due to high cost and risk. Their stories are shared below. Simply put, we want to give these children the gift of life this holiday season. To do so, we need an additional $10,200 this holiday season to cover the costs. Through our campaign on Global Giving, we are hoping to raise the funds to cover their surgeries by December 31st. This would allow the children to undergo surgery the first or second week of 2016.

The first child that came to us was Little Peng, who is 7 years old. He lives in Teng Chong County in Bao Shan Prefecture, Yunnan. His father and mother are both poor farmers. Their total yearly income is 10,000 RMB (~$1,600 USD). Little Peng was born without one of his four heart valves. This is a very severe kind of heart disease that should be corrected in infancy. Little Peng is lucky because the nature of his heart disease is such that, even at this relatively late age, it can be cured with surgery. The operation for this kind of heart disease costs about 50,000 RMB (~$8,000 USD) or about five years worth of income for this family. This surgery is only partially covered by rural health insurance (10%) and not at all by Chinese charitable foundations. We need $7,000 to fund Little Peng's surgery.

The second child that came to us is Little Yang, who is 12 years old. She also lives in Teng Chong County. Little Yang was born with a big hole in the middle of her heart. This is a very severe kind of heart disease but it is curable with a single operation. The total cost of her operation will be $3,200. Her parents are also farmers and are unable to afford the operation. She is relying on us to gather the funds to provide her with a cure.

We thank you for your continued support of our organization and the children of Yunnan, and we wish you the very best this holiday season. Please consider another gift today, and please tell your colleauges, friends and family about our mission to cure heart disease in Yunnan, China.

Little Yang
Little Yang

Links:

Screening newborn in rural Yunnan hospital.
Screening newborn in rural Yunnan hospital.


The China California Heart Watch provides free diagnosis and care for impoverished children living in rural Yunnan Province, China. We also give grants to cover the costs of corrective surgeries for children with severe congenital heart disease. Already, funds raised on GlobalGiving have covered the costs of surgery for 35 children. 

We are now moving toward helping the youngest patients, newborns.  

Newborn critical heart diseas kills 2 of every 1000 babies born in Yunnan. In developed countries, newborn heart disease is immediately diagnosed and treated appropriately. Why not in Yunnan?  The answer is:

 

1.  Insufficient training to screen for newborn heart disease,

2.  Insufficient surgical facilities and

3.  Insufficient funding.

China Cal is now training all rural county hospital ob docs and nurses how to screen for newborn heart disease.  

China Cal is also contracting with the Children's Hospital of Kunming to bring highly skilled surgeons from all over China to surgically treat newborn heart disease.

China Cal needs you to help with funding these surgeries.

These infants are from impoverished families with incomes of less than $1000 per year.  The available health insurance will pay only 10 % of the surgical bills which are at least $10,000.  They need donors like you to pay for their medicines, surgery and travel to/from the hospital in order to save their lives. 

Baby being checked for newborn heart disease.
Baby being checked for newborn heart disease.
China Cal trainer teaches how to screen newborns.
China Cal trainer teaches how to screen newborns.

Links:

Dear donor,

The China California Heart Watch has now raised over $35,000 on GlobalGiving. This means we are moving beyond our two-year campaign to raise funds to cover the surgeries of impoverished Chinese children whose lives are threatened by their congenital heart disease. As donors, you made this happen.

Given our success on GlobalGiving over the past two years, for the summer of 2015, we are rstarting a new campaign to both find kids we can help and to  train rural doctors on early detection of congenital heart disease. Our goal for this year is $12,000. This will cover the costs training 25 rural doctors.

Our organization has been working closely with the Yunnan Department of Health to come up with protocols that would ensure that adequate cardiovascular screening of newborns takes place. We will keep you up to date about these initiatives in our newsletter.

In the meantime, please help spread the word about our work so that we can meet our fundraising goals for 2015. Be in touch at any time if you have any questions or would like to seek more ways to become involved.

Thank you!

 

 

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Organization Information

China California Heart Watch

Location: Silverado, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.chinacal.org
Project Leader:
Robert Detrano
Silverado, CA United States
$32,985 raised of $41,000 goal
 
 
486 donations
$8,015 to go
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