Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam

by MEDRIX
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Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam
Successful surgery 5 years ago-enjoying his Pizza
Successful surgery 5 years ago-enjoying his Pizza

The doctors moved quickly to perform the first surgery on the one-month-old child who was born with a heart only having three chambers instead of the normal four.The surgery was performed two days ago and the child is in ICU now.You can see the seriousness of the situation for this little one in the attached picture.  More surgeries are needed but now they must give time for this little person to recover. I'll keep you posted.

On a lighter note:   

It's often difficult to follow up with our kids who have had heart surgery since many come from remote areas. But our wonderful In-Country Consultant stays in contact with one mom whose son had corrective heart surgery five years ago. We were able to treat mom and sons to lunch and see the results of his surgery first-hand. Her son is now just an average 6-year old, no different from any other 6-year-old. You can see him in the attached photo enjoying his "first ever" pizza - he ate it all.

 Seeing him in person made us remember that there are almost 130 other kids who have had similar surgeries and now lead "normal" lives, thanks to MEDRIX donors and Vietnamese surgeons.  Will you join us to help save a child's life?   

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Sweet Little One with MEDRIX Staff Member
Sweet Little One with MEDRIX Staff Member

Globally, heart disease, genetic or congenital, is a leading cause of death of children in many countries, including Vietnam.  The good news is that the rate of survival is increasing.  This is due, in part, to two main reasons: 1) an increase in early detection and diagnosis and 2) the access to the needed surgeries for poor families.   But there are still problems for many rural families -- the lingering effects of poverty and the inability to get to the needed locations where the surgery can be done safely.

There are several logistics that must be overcome. The first is to gain recognition of financial need via a government-issued “poor card”.  n the West we might think of this as discrimination, however, in Vietnam it is the necessary “ticket” to get access to specialized health care for a child in need of surgery. 

The second need is transportation to the nearest cardiac center where the child can be reevaluated with sophisticated equipment and expert knowledge of the heart doctors.  Then a surgery must be scheduled.  And the next key factor is whether-or-not the hospital has the funding to sponsor this infant, child or young adult.  Without money to pay, how can the child receive the needed life-saving surgery?   

This is where MEDRIX steps in.  MEDRIX is a not for profit organization that sponsors life-saving heart surgery primarily for children and infants.  To date MEDRIX has sponsored 116 such surgeries. 

We have heard many heart-wrenching stories, shared times of laughter and times of great relief, and celebrated the results after recovery from a successful surgery. Only on very rare occasions, (only 3 times in the last 17 years) have we lost a patient who was too ill to survive.  We are grateful for the many excellent doctors and nurses and para-medical persons who have asked MEDRIX to join with them in saving lives of precious little ones.   We thank you too for supporting MEDRIX to support LIFE SAVING HEART SURGERY.  

These are just a few of our wonderful clients: 

Sweet Little One with MEDRIX Staff Member
Sweet Little One with MEDRIX Staff Member
Showing my bravery!   I can't wait to play!
Showing my bravery! I can't wait to play!
Wow, I'm doing great!  Now I can go to school.
Wow, I'm doing great! Now I can go to school.
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Thi Anh Duong's New Start
Thi Anh Duong's New Start

I stood by the bed of a sweet 3 month old girl named "Thi".  Thi was in the Children's Hospital in Vietnam.  Her condition was severe. A sense of heaviness in the air in the ICU.   We had scrubbed, put on cover garments, and shoe covers. And then we had followed the ICU doctor and moved to the side of a bed where this little girl lay with her eyes closed. 

I watched her breath slowly in and out.  It was a labored breath.  She was working hard and struggling for every breath!   She sensed that "something was different" and opened her eyes to see her dad and us her 'visitors'.   Her eyes searched for an explanation, but she was not startled...she was just working too hard on her breathing to put any energy into being alarmed.     

Her struggle was due to a defective trachea (the breathing tube leading to her lungs) that was not wide enough to sustain her life for very long.

The goal was to repair the defective trachea and thus assist her heart by providing the needed oxygen to her lungs and heart and the rest of her body.   But her defect and the lack of oxygen could not be sustained without life-saving surgery.  The doctors were concerned over her fragile condition.  Would surgery even be possible?  Was she too frail to recovery?  Could she put on some weight and have a couple of months to grow? And then there was the complicating factor of the cost of the hospitalization.  The doctor would donate the surgery, but the medical costs were high.  The family had no resources. They qualified for a ‘poor card’.  But who could support this difficult case?   

The days stretched into weeks.  What was to be done?  Then a hospital official approached MEDRIX.  We were asked to help support her surgery and recovery costs, to provide some resource for food and a place for the family to stay.  

MEDRIX was willing to take the risk if she could to gain some weight to better survive the surgery. Her family was elated. 

Now the good news:    Little Thi has had her surgery.  Her lungs are filling without labored effort.  Her heart is getting stronger.   Yes, she still faces weeks of recovery, but she is better than the surgeons and ICU staff anticipated.  She is better than the family could have dared to dream.     

Yes, it is truly a miracle, a miracle because generous supporters like you.   Now Thi’s family can anticipate a good childhood for her.  She will be able to laugh and play with other children in her village. She will have a normal life.

MEDRIX's is honored to be a part of this life-changing story.   We thank you for your generosity to support heart related surgeries for kids who's families cannot afford uncommon surgeries such as Little Thi's.   With your generosity many additional children will have the gift of life saving heart-related surgery!      

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Duc Listens to his heart - A wonderful time
Duc Listens to his heart - A wonderful time

Having returned from Vietnam, I flip on the radio and a happy song belts out into the car, “A Chior of Children Sing Their Songs…ding, dong, ding dong...uuu, uuu…simply having a wonderful time”.  There is no better reminder of how joyous it is to have a “Wonderful Time” all through the year. And for kids like Duc having a wonderful time is very important, because he has a heart condition that requires life saving surgery.   

Four-year old Duc Tam laughs as he listens to his heart. His heart has now been cured. He can breathe without it pounding in his chest. He is ‘simply’ having a wonderful time because you our donors gave generously for his life saving heart surgery.   You might say he was filled with JOY and so is his mom. He can now return to his kindergarten.  Duc can run, jump and have a wonderful time because of you, our donors, who have given generously to have his and other children's hearts repaired.  Thank you - you have made a difference in many lives!    

Join the choir of joy and let you friends know that MEDRIX has partnered with you our donors and the hospital in Vietnam to bring a hope and a future to kids who need lifesaving heart surgery.   Every donation means so much!   Thank you and have a very Wonderful and Happy New Year. 

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Khoa
Khoa

“A Hole in My Heart” by Khoa from Xuan in Vietnam

All I know is that I was born on a day they said was November 11th of 2017. It was a cold awakening. All warm and snuggy in my mommy’s tummy and then all at once I felt the need to ‘get out now’.   What an awakening … the air was crisp, I heard my mother’s groans and the voices of people I had never heard before. But I was here, here in the big wide world, and I was free at last to spread my arms and kick my legs and be joyful at life. So with that I took a breath….a big breath, my first. But when I sucked in, something did not seem right.   It was “aminomic fluid” I heard them say, whatever that is. Then all of a sudden a cold round thing was on my chest and a voice identified as a doctor was listening and listening.   He talked to my mommy and she cried. What for? I was here, I was trying hard, and I wanted her to know that I was at last free to touch her face and take from her the gift of nourishing milk.   But it was so hard to suck. I could not catch my breath, and my heart would pound so hard. I tried and tried for 3 or 4 months. It was hard work, this sucking thing! Sometimes I would hear my mommy and daddy talking about money and how they might get me something called surgery and perhaps my heart would not pound so hard.   My big brother would kiss my face softly and then run out to play…Would I ever play, my mommy would ask. “How can we get the money for the surgery”? Then one day my mommy got a call. And she said “IT happened”, whatever that meant.

She was so excited that she ran outside and I could her her calling daddy. “Come quick”, she yelled over and over again.   Then daddy arrived and I was startled. What was going on? I started to cry because they were crying. They were jumping up and down.   But their cry was a different cry than before, they were laughing too.   It was something about a group called MEDRIX. The group was coming to town and they had some people who lived far, far away and wanted little me to be able to breathe and not have a pounding heart. They said that these people would sponsor my surgery and other surgeries for kids who had the same problem as I did.

Whohoo!   Now my brother was jumping up and down and grandma was laughing and making whistling sounds between her teeth.   Daddy was calling the neighbor to ask him to watch our pigs and water our rice at the right time. Mom was throwing a blanket into her pouch and wrapping me so tight around her as she climed on the motorbike behind my dad.   Then we were off to a place called the big city, and many people were seeing me. Some people were talking and I could not understand them; neither could my mom or dad but someone else was there and told them what they were saying. Life was a blurrrrr….

When I woke up I could breath. When I woke up, my heart was not beating out of my chest. When I woke up the hole in my heart was not there. I heard the nurses and doctors talking to my mom and dad and telling them that the hole is my heart was fixed. And ‘friends’ from far across the sea had helped get my heart fixed. And then I heard that the people talking had paid for my surgery. They sounded funny. But I was happy. Now, I could learn to run and jump and play with my brother when I get big enough. I could go to school.   Wow! Can you believe it? This is my story. I am Khoa, and this is my picture when I had a hole in my heart. Now I am almost 1!   I am now healthy. I can stand, and I’m learning how to walk. I will jump with my brother soon. Thank you, thank you for helping me and thank you for helping my family.   You can sponsor another kid just like me.   There are 101 of us who have received this wonderful gift of breathing and hearts beating because of you. Thank you, thank you.  

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MEDRIX

Location: Redmond, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MEDRIX
Project Leader:
LaRelle Catherman
Redmond, WA United States
$34,078 raised of $50,000 goal
 
319 donations
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