Life-Changing Heart Surgeries for Kids in Vietnam

by MEDRIX
Play Video
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
Binh and his father Tho
Binh and his father Tho

The MEDRIX team is currently in Vietnam right now! We're getting ready to interview children and young adults in desperate need of life-saving heart surgery, and thanks to the generosity of donors like you, be able to sponsor surgeries for those most in need. For many people with congenital heart diseases, especially from rural areas, the need for medical attention is very urgent and without financial help, it is completely beyond reach. In Vietnam, despite a person's impoverished status, they must have proof of payment before a hospital will agree to schedule a surgery. This prevents many children from even pursuing heart surgery and instead live their lives weak and unable to fully participate in community life. Their parents don't ever give up hope that someday their child will be able to be healthy again, and wish for a better life than they could provide. 

Even though his son Binh was grown and had a family of his own, his father Tho was a constant fixture at Binh's appointments at Hue Central Hospital, supporting and helping his son the best he could. Both Tho and Binh are rice farmers in Binh Dinh Province in the South Central coastal region of Vietnam. Binh was able to achieve relative success despite his heart defect, finishing the sixth grade in school and being able to read and write. Binh's wife works for a textile company, and together they have a 4 year old child. Despite all of his hard work as a rice farmer, Binh only earns about $200 (USD) per month. 

While Binh and his wife managed to save more than a month's salary for his heart surgery, it was still not nearly enough. So Binh and his father Tho departed Binh Dinh Province to Hue City, hoping that the charity department at the hospital and donors from organizations like MEDRIX would be able to help. Tho was right by his son's side through all interviews and appointments, showing that a father's love for his child does not stop once they are grown. Luckily MEDRIX and a partnering NGO were able to help Binh's family with the surgery costs and he was able to be admitted for surgery right away. Binh recovered very well from surgery, and was able to return home to his village in the South Central Coast with his father Tho. Together these two men were a touching reminder to MEDRIX of the powerful love that parents hold for their children, and that the hope we have for our kids to have the very best lives never fades. 

Because of the generosity of donors like you, Binh and Tho were able to return home with a new lease on life, and plenty of hope and opportunity to care for Binh's child. Binh and Tho will be able to work even harder to provide for their family and give Binh's child a chance to complete school just like he did, and perhaps go even further! Your support of MEDRIX cannot be overstated: your donations have made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people in Vietnam. We sincerely thank you for your partnership with us to improve the lives of those in need in Vietnam. 

Binh after surgery, eager to return home
Binh after surgery, eager to return home
Tho and Binh after surgery
Tho and Binh after surgery

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Mrs. Mac post-surgery: very happy and healthy!
Mrs. Mac post-surgery: very happy and healthy!

Thousands of children in Vietnam younger than five years of age suffer from heart disease. Children’s heart disease is the most common birth defect globally and 90% of the children born in developing countries have no access to the care they need. For those who never receive heart surgery in childhood, a lifetime of a weak heart and poor health takes a toll: as adults, they are often confined to physical labor roles which are extremely taxing on their health. Some are not able to work at all, and fear for how to provide for their families. 

These were the experiences for two moms living in rural Quang Ngai Provinice in Central Vietnam: recently MEDRIX sponsored life-changing heart surgeries for Ms. Huong and Mrs. Mac. We'd like to share their stories with our donors to illustrate the true long-term impact that heart surgery sponsorship can have. Healthy lives open the door to education and hope not just for the people who receive surgery, but for their entire families. We truly could not do this work withour your support, and we thank you for helping Ms. Huong, Mrs. Mac, and countless others suffering from heart defects in Vietnam. 

Ms. Huong is a 34 year old single mother to a 12 year old daughter. Being a single mom in rural Quang Ngai Province is not easy, but Ms. Huong’s life became even more difficult when she was no longer able to work as a waitress in a cafe due to her heart defect. She was very afraid of what might happen to her daughter if she couldn’t support her, or if she even died from her heart problems. Neighbors agreed to watch her daughter while she traveled to Hue for diagnosis and treatment: her condition was so severe that she was hospitalized immediately after MEDRIX agreed to help support her surgery costs. Ms. Huong had surgery on November 24th and was discharged in early December with a good condition. The MEDRIX staff described the impact of Ms. Huong’s surgery:

"Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Huong...has come back home to fulfill her mission as a mother AND a father for her little daughter. Her dream to have good health to support her daughter and give her a good education has come true because of the donors of MEDRIX...Today the two big smiles are shining brightly in this little family."

Mrs. Mac is a 41 year old married woman with 3 children, including a 1 year old baby, who discovered her heart defect later in life. She and her husband both work as farmers, struggling to support their family. Despite living in an extremely mountainous and rural area of Central Vietnam, Mrs. Mac and her husband traveled to Hue to get treatment at our partner hospital. They had to take a bus, a train and a taxi to reach the “Big City” of Hue from their small village in Quang Ngai Province. They were both afraid of her health prospects from major heart surgery, especially for their younger children who would need a caring mother in their life. Fortunately, Mrs. Mac’s surgery was very successful, and she was discharged just in time for the (Western) New Year on December 30th! As you can tell from her picture, Mrs. Mac is very happy to start her new life in new year of 2017. She and her family send their most sincere thanks to the donors and wishes them all the best in the new year.

Because of the generosity of donors like you, these moms are able to return home with a new lease on life, and plenty of hope and opportunity to care for their children. Their families will stay intact and their children will have a much better chance of finishing their education, instead of being forced into working to support themselves while they're still children. Moms are often the glue that hold families together, and thanks to our supporters, these two moms have a lifetime of health ahead of them for their most important work: caring for their families and sharing love with their children. 

Mrs. Mac and husband pre-surgery: very worried
Mrs. Mac and husband pre-surgery: very worried
Ms. Huong was very sad when we met her & it shows
Ms. Huong was very sad when we met her & it shows
Ms. Huong post-surgery, eager to see daughter
Ms. Huong post-surgery, eager to see daughter

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Vinh listening to his heart for the first time
Vinh listening to his heart for the first time

'Tis the season...the holidays are upon us, and what an amazing year 2016 has been! Thanks to your generosity and support, MEDRIX was able to sponsor 22 life-saving heart surgeries this year: TWENTY TWO!! This was an unexpected but very appreciated gift that simply wouldn't be possible without you. Your giving has directly changed the lives of 22 people in the last year, and countless more since we started this fundraiser in 2013. The MEDRIX team and all of our partners and colleagues in Vietnam would like to sincerely thank you for all of your support. 

It is impossible to share the real impact that your donations have had on the lives of so many people in Vietnam, because the reach is truly exponential. Healthy kids with healthy hearts are able to begin or complete their education, opening up so many opportunities not only for themselves, but also for their siblings, parents and grandparents. Healthy adults who receive life-changing heart surgery get a new lease on life and the chance to better support their spouses and children to achieve their own dreams. In a way, this is even more meaningful: adults who have lived with congenital heart defects into adulthood have suffered tremendously and faced many setbacks. Your gift dramatically changed their lives, and they will never forget your generosity, and the life they left behind the day they finally received surgery. 

We'd like to share a bit about one of our adult heart surgery recipients in 2016 before inviting you to take a look at ALL of the people whose lives you've changed through your donations on our website. Each person has their own unique story, and we are honored to share a bit of Vinh's story with you now. 

Vinh is a 40 year old father of three children living with his wife and family in rural Phu Vang District in Central Vietnam. He is an ocean fisherman, working off the coast of the East Vietnam Sea and making a very decent living with his hard work, enabling his wife Thao to stay home and take care of their children and home. But eventually Vinh started to feel more and more fatigued, having difficulty breathing and often wheezing. When he was finally diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, a heart defect that can develop at any age, Vinh became very scared. 

Vinh and his wife Thao were afraid that if he were to die from his heart defect, his children would be forced into the workforce with their mother and never complete their education. This is a common setback in multigenerational families with a sick family member, especially living in rural or impoverished areas. When talking to the MEDRIX team, Vinh began to cry talking about his children and imagining the impact it would have if he died from his heart defect. They would not only be heartbroken without their father, but be forced to start work and quit school. Thanks to the generosity of MEDRIX donors and our partnering organizations, the cost of Vinh's surgery was sponsored completely! He received surgery in early April, and was discharged only two weeks later in good condition. His children will be able to pursue their own dreams and finish their education instead of working to support their family in their childhood, and Vinh and Thao now have a long and healthy future ahead of them to enjoy together. 

Vinh's story is a great example of the far-reaching impact of heart surgery sponsorship that can't always be seen by the donors. We thank all of our partners in Vietnam for helping us provide these sponsorships, and thank all of our donors worldwide: without your caring heart, our programs would not be possible. 

Vinh and his wife Thao
Vinh and his wife Thao
Vinh and MEDRIX team
Vinh and MEDRIX team
Vinh post-surgery, looking much healthier already!
Vinh post-surgery, looking much healthier already!
10 year old Tran just had surgery last week!
10 year old Tran just had surgery last week!
17 year old Mai also just had surgery last week!
17 year old Mai also just had surgery last week!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Kieu and mom, very happy to return to school
Kieu and mom, very happy to return to school

Thousands of children in Vietnam younger than five years of age suffer from heart disease. Children’s heart disease is the most common birth defect globally and 90% of the children born in developing countries have no access to the care they need. With labored breathing and lack of energy, these children are not able to attend school and run around and play like other children. Many are stuck in hospital beds spending all their energy on taking their next breath. Even if a child has access to the care they need, too often the family can’t afford to pay the medical expenses. For those who never receive heart surgery, a lifetime of a weak heart and poor health takes a toll, and many children are unable to complete their education. This means that as adults, they are often confined to physical labor roles which are extremely taxing on their health, or unable to work at all.

This was the fate facing one teenage girl, Kieu, before MEDRIX intervened and provided sponsorship for heart surgery. We'd like to share her story with you today to illustrate the true long-term impact that heart surgery sponsorship can have. Healthy lives open the door to education and hope, and your donations have truly made an impact in the lives of the children we've sponsored for surgery in Vietnam. While the story shared below is from several years ago, the underlying impact will be the same for the kids that your donation provided surgery for. 

Kieu was 16 years old when she underwent life changing heart surgery in 2011. Kieu was devastated by her diagnosis of having pulmonary arterial hypertension–she was becoming more and more exhausted and unable to keep up with her school work and her 11 km commute to school (by bike!). She underwent corrective surgery, but didn’t return to school right away due to continued exhaustion. This is very normal for people recovering from heart surgery, and strength needs to be gradually built up again. Her mother, fearing that school would be too difficult for Kieu, was hesitant to have her return. MEDRIX provides sponsorship on the condition that the child will be allowed to return to school and complete their education; when we learned about Kieu's mother's fears, we intervened to find a solution. It was agreed that Kieu would receive bike rides from classmates until her strength returned. Today Kieu is a 21 year old student at Hue Medical College in Hue, Vietnam, studying to be a pharmacist! None of this would have been possible without the generosity of MEDRIX donors. 

This is just one out of 70 individual stories of people that MEDRIX has sponsored for life-saving heart surgery over the years. Each person has their own dreams, ambitions and passions that simply cannot be achieved with congenital heart defects and poor health. Your gift to provide heart surgery sponsorship goes beyond merely providing the surgery: it impacts the opportunities and lifestyles of children and young adults exponentially. We sincerely thank you for your support and for your investment in the future of MEDRIX and the people that we serve in Vietnam. 

Kieu, not feeling well before surgery 2011
Kieu, not feeling well before surgery 2011
Kieu and her mother, right after surgery 2011
Kieu and her mother, right after surgery 2011
Kieu, mom and MEDRIX staff in 2014: healthy again
Kieu, mom and MEDRIX staff in 2014: healthy again
American nursing student got to meet Kieu and mom
American nursing student got to meet Kieu and mom

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Hung, pre-surgery
Hung, pre-surgery

Thanks to your generosity and support, MEDRIX has been able to sponsor 9 children and young adults for life-saving heart surgery in 2016! You have given an incredible gift of life and hope to the people who have undergone surgery so far, and the long-term effects will be exponential. On our recent trip to meet with some of the potential patients in February, MEDRIX staff was reminded that it is not just a sponsorship that is provided through your donation: it is truly a gift of a new chance at life. Every person has a story, but we got to hear and experience the story of one young boy, now called “Hùng the Hero”. 

The following is taken directly from a report by Robert Catherman, co-founder of MEDRIX:

"Our first interview was with a mother and her 10 year old son. You can see them in the attached photos Mrs LaRelle reviewed the usual questions with the mom: 1) what do you know about your son’s diagnosis and proposed surgery?, 2) what is your occupation? (farmer), 3) how much can the family contribute toward the surgery? (have no money to offer), 4) will you promise that your son will stay in school after the surgery? (yes), etc, etc – the standard questions we ask all families before we say “Yes, MEDRIX will support the surgery.”

But this case had an unusual twist that we had been alerted to beforehand by the hospital staff. There was a big problem with the boy’s name. It seems that at the time of the boy’s birth there was a major conflict in the family and the family relationships had been badly damage and have not healed to this day. And at that time the father gave the boy a name reflecting this problem. Mrs LaRelle explored this topic with the mother to learn more. At this point the mother began to cry when she talked about the boy’s given name. Mrs Ha, who was translating for LaRelle, could not translate the Vietnamese name into English in a way that expressed the full meaning – she said the boy’s given name meant something like “conflict/war/hate”. And this was the name the boy was called at school and in his family. It was a embarrassment to the boy and a constant reminder of the broken relationships within the family. The mother was in tears the entire time that she talked about this sad, sad situation.

A lot of chatter when on in English and Vietnamese while we were trying to think about what to do. Finally, the idea was proposed that MEDRIX give the boy a new name. Since MEDRIX is having a big influence on the boy’s future life by sponsoring his heart surgery, why not try to influence the family to change his name from “conflict/war/hate”. What to change his name to??? More chatter – until the answer became clear – from now on, he would be named “Hùng” in Vietnamese which means “Hero” in English.

Mom has now stopped crying and is smiling. LaRelle asks if it is possible to change his name and the mom says “Yes, they can”. And our interview was concluded. “Conflict/war/hate” came into the room for the interview and left the room as Hùng the Hero.

Surgery to fix a malformed heart is relatively easy – Hùng’s surgery is scheduled for later this week. Healing a broken heart is not so easy – but it must be attempted. We think we helped both situations today."

Hung recovered quickly from his heart surgery, and was released from the hospital less than 2 weeks later! He now has a healthy and very happy life to look forward to, thanks to the generosity of supporters like you. Every person has a story like this, and the surgery they receive can change that story for the better. Please take a look at some of the other people who have benefited from life-saving heart surgery this year. We sincerely thank you for your support. 

Mom listens to Hung's heart, pre-surgery
Mom listens to Hung's heart, pre-surgery
Post-surgery: Mom and Hung both look very happy!
Post-surgery: Mom and Hung both look very happy!
Tuyet has also received surgery in 2016
Tuyet has also received surgery in 2016
Thinh received heart surgery in March 2016
Thinh received heart surgery in March 2016
Vinh's wife listens to his heart pre-surgery
Vinh's wife listens to his heart pre-surgery

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

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
$15,922 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

MEDRIX has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.