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
Tran with her parents, pre-surgery
Tran with her parents, pre-surgery

The holidays are almost upon us, challenging us to ask ourselves, What am I thankful for? This inevitably leads us to think about all of the people who do not have all that we do, and what their lives are like without the basic necessities. 

This year, MEDRIX is thankful for you! Your generous donation helped make a huge difference in the lives of children seeking life-saving heart surgery and their families. Because of your help, they were able to begin leading normal and healthy childhoods, with bright futures ahead of them. 

These young children may never remember a life before heart surgery, but their parents and family members most assuredly will. They will always remember the fear they felt when they realized their child needed serious surgery that they could not afford, and they will always remember the hope they felt once the surgery was deemed successful. These children now get a new lease on life, filled with health, education, and hope, because of your generous donations. They will hopefully never again struggle to breathe, or gain weight, or make it through a school day. They won't have to remember life before their heart surgery, or dream about having a normal, happy and healthy childhood. They will now be able to live it. 

Your contribution has made a huge difference in the life of children and families. Thank you for your generous donation and for supporting MEDRIX. Please consider helping us again to sponsor life-saving heart surgeries in 2015. We are very thankful for your help in saving and changing lives in Vietnam! 

Vu, pre-surgery
Vu, pre-surgery
Xay and MEDRIX Co-Founder LaRelle Catherman
Xay and MEDRIX Co-Founder LaRelle Catherman
Former patient Nhu and the MEDRIX team!
Former patient Nhu and the MEDRIX team!
Tran, post-surgery and healthy!
Tran, post-surgery and healthy!
Xay listening to his heart
Xay listening to his heart

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Tran, post-surgery
Tran, post-surgery

It's been about 6 months since your generous donation helped make SIX life-changing heart surgeries for kids in Vietnam a reality! All of the children had very different stories and backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they desperately needed heart surgery in order to lead a normal childhood, attend school in the future, and achieve their parent's dreams of a healthy life. Thanks to you, these dreams are becoming a reality!

Young Tran, only 7 months old when selected for heart surgery sponsorship, spent several months in the ICU following her surgery, but was finally discharged with a clean bill of health in early June. And little Linh was only 4 months old and severely underweight when she was approved for heart surgery. Her parents lived 350 km from Hue Central Hospital where the surgery took place, and weren't able to travel the long distance until Linh's father faced emergency eye surgery. Linh also had to recover from pneumonia before it was safe to operate. She finally had surgery in April, and was discharged in June as well. 

Most recently, MEDRIX has heard from young Vu's mother, who wants to personally thank all of you that made her young son's surgery possible. Since Vu's successful surgery after fighting a bout with pneumonia, he has finally started gaining weight and now weighs almost double from his pre-surgery weight--an amazing and healthy accomplishment! This wouldn't have happened without Vu having corrective heart surgery and allowing his little heart to slow down and work correctly. 

These young children may never remember a life before heart surgery, but their parents and family members most assuredly will. They will always remember the fear they felt when they realized their child needed serious surgery that they could not afford, and they will always remember the hope they felt once the surgery was deemed successful. These children now get a new lease on life, filled with health, education, and hope, because of your generous donations. They will hopefully never again struggle to breathe, or gain weight, or make it through a school day. They won't have to remember life before their heart surgery, or dream about having a normal, happy and healthy childhood. They will now be able to live it. 

Your contribution has made a huge difference in the life of children and families. Thank you for your generous donation and for supporting MEDRIX. 

Little Linh
Little Linh
Vu, post-surgery
Vu, post-surgery
Ha with mom
Ha with mom
Xay, post-surgery
Xay, post-surgery
Little Khang with mom
Little Khang with mom

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Little Linh
Little Linh

MEDRIX is excited to report that our last heart surgery patient for 2014, little 7 month old Linh, was recently released from the hospital. Linh was admitted to the hospital all the way back in February, and doctors were waiting for her to recover from non-heart-related conditions before operating. Thankfully Linh recovered fairly quickly, and was released about a month and a half after surgery. Her loving parents are so excited to help provide little Linh with a healthy and hopeful future ahead of her, thanks to your generosity. 

Your thoughtful donations helped change the lives of 6 young children in Vietnam. MEDRIX sincerely thanks you for your kindness and generosity. We at MEDRIX often think of the children whose lives have been changed by heart surgery over the years, and imagine what they've accomplished since. Reconnections after a long period of time are rare--limitations in cell phone technology (until recently) as well as families often moving years after a surgery make it difficult to determine if patients are able to reconnect and share with MEDRIX how their heart surgeries changed their lives. This does not mean that they are ever forgotten. 

MEDRIX was blessed to be able to reconnect with one heart surgery patient from 2011 recently who we were able to track down. Amazingly, we had cell phone documentation for her family, which is very rare! Kieu and her mom agreed to meet with Executive Director LaRelle Catherman and Project Manager Pham Thi Thu Ha in February 2014. In 2011, Kieu was a dedicated 16 year old student who found herself growing increasingly tired and fatigued. When she was diagnosed with a heart defect, she was devastated, imagining having to quit school and be unable to help support her family. Thanks to the generosity of MEDRIX donors, Kieu was able to have life-changing heart surgery with no complications. But her story does not end there. 

Kieu faced an 11-km trek by bike to her school, a feat that she was unable to face after heart surgery. She and her mom were discouraged that she naturally felt even more tired after her surgery, and considered resigning themselves to Kieu not being able to complete her education. Thankfully, Ms. Ha from MEDRIX was able to remind Kieu's mother of the importance of education and how dedicated Kieu was to her schoolwork. Eventually they were able to work out a system for Kieu to commute with a classmate to school via bike until she was strong enough to bike on her own again. Today, Kieu is a 19 year old student at Hue Medical College, studying to be a pharmacist. How incredible!

The stories of these amazing children do not end once they've received heart surgery, and MEDRIX is committed to supporting and serving the people of Vietnam. Thank you so much for your generosity--it has made a huge difference already in the life of a child.

Click on the link attached to this report to listen to Kieu's story in her own words. 

Linh and mom
Linh and mom
Ms. Ha and Ms. Ly from MEDRIX with Kieu and mom
Ms. Ha and Ms. Ly from MEDRIX with Kieu and mom

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Baby Tran from Quang Tri
Baby Tran from Quang Tri

MEDRIX was thrilled that as a result of all of the generous donations made on behalf of children seeking life-changing heart surgeries in Vietnam, our project on GlobalGiving is considered ongoing. What does this mean? Instead of "capping" donations for heart surgeries and ending the fundraiser because we met our goal, we extended our goal to ten children being sponsored instead of five. Thanks to your outpouring of support, we were inspired to keep going and not set limits on bringing hope to families in need. 

MEDRIX Executive Director LaRelle Catherman is currently in Vietnam with Vietnam Project Manager Pham Thi Thu Ha, planning projects for 2014. They spent time interviewing families seeking surgeries for their children born with heart defects. MEDRIX is pleased to announce that so far, six families have been selected for sponsorship! All live in poverty, many in rural areas that are far away from specialized medical care. When necessary, MEDRIX helps support these families with food, transportation, and housing while they stay in Hue during and after surgery. Below are a few words from LaRelle from the field, sharing the difference that YOU have made in the lives of many young children. 

"Tonight at sit at the computer in my nice hotel and write this letter to you, our donors.  You have made a big difference in the lives of six more children here in Vietnam.  Each one of them has a heart defect that has compromised their life.  But the bright side is that they now have a chance for a better life, thanks to you! 

There are 3 children who come from a very poor district called Quang Tri, just north of Hue where we currently are working.  Quang Tri is a mixture of rice fields in the low lands and mountainous unfertile areas.  Life in Quang Tri is very hard, and most of the people are very poor and do not have access to good health care.  Their lives are so hard that they often do not realize that their children have significant health diseases or need heart surgery. [In Quang Tri]...health access is very difficult and the poverty of the people complicate their lives.  This is what has happened to Xay, who we will call Ray.  For the last few years he has been chronically tired and unable to keep up with school activities or to assist his father who hunts and gathers food in the forest.  This young teen has a ready smile and is eager to have surgery, and then to ‘get on with his life’ and return to school.  When asked if he was little nervous he said, 'No, because I haven’t experienced this before, so I don’t have any fear'. Now I would call that brave."

Two of the other children are from Ha Tinh province, about 350 miles away from the hospital in Hue. The sixth child is a young baby from an ethnic minority family from A Luoi province, about 75 miles away from Hue. A Luoi to Hue is a rough journey through rainforest and undeveloped dirt roads. Many of these families have little hope due to their poor financial circumstances. By partnering with two other NGOs in Vietnam, MEDRIX is able to sponsor these families and meet their immediate needs so their children can heal without worry. Your generous donation to this project has made an enormous difference in their lives. 

Thank you for donating to our cause. Please consider telling your friends and family about our project and the MEDRIX mission - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. Tell them why you chose our project and why it touched your heart. 

Thank you again for all you have done to help MEDRIX continue serving the people of Vietnam.

 

Baby Vu from A Luoi
Baby Vu from A Luoi
Baby Khang with Mom, from Ha Tinh
Baby Khang with Mom, from Ha Tinh
Little Linh from Ha Tinh
Little Linh from Ha Tinh
Baby Ha with Mom, from Quang Tri
Baby Ha with Mom, from Quang Tri
Brave Xay ("Ray") from Quang Tri
Brave Xay ("Ray") from Quang Tri

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3 patients and their families, pre-surgery, 2012
3 patients and their families, pre-surgery, 2012

MEDRIX partnered with GlobalGiving Foundation to fundraise for children's heart surgeries in Vietnam in September 2013. Our goal was to raise $5,000 to sponsor 5 heart surgeries within the next calendar year. We surpassed our goal, thanks to you, our generous donors! Because of this amazing outpouring of support, MEDRIX is able to keep this project active and ongoing. You can now choose to contribute again to MEDRIX heart surgeries through GlobalGiving, or pass on the MEDRIX message of hope and health in Southeast Asia. 

Heart disease is the most common birth defect worldwide, and many children from rural villages in Vietnam living in extreme poverty may never be able to have their heart disease issues corrected and go on to lead normal and healthy lives. Once the need for heart support was recognized, MEDRIX engaged fully with our friends and colleagues in Vietnam to work towards solving this health issue. Many heart defects require simple surgical corrections that would be considered "no big deal" in the United States. These simple corrections are often too expensive for many Vietnamese families--they often borrow whatever they cannot cover from family and friends. Even then, the additional expenses--lodging, transportation to Hue, food, clothing, etc.--keep families from being able to pursue healthy futures for their children. Kids with heart defects in Vietnam are usually unable to pursue any education because children walk or bike to school, activities which are too rigorous. 

With the generosity of our supporters, MEDRIX will be able to change the future of entire families in Vietnam. Through this campaign alone, we have received enough to fund six life-changing heart surgeries...and counting! At the beginning of the year, MEDRIX will begin to assess potential heart surgery patients for 2014. We are committed to keeping you aware of whose lives will be forever changed by your donation, because MEDRIX could not have done this without you! Share our project page on Facebook and tell your friends and family why this campaign touched your heart! Thank you always for supporting MEDRIX's mission to serve the people of Southeast Asia through medical and education projects. 

3 year old Vy and mom, post-surgery, 2013
3 year old Vy and mom, post-surgery, 2013
7 month old An and mom, post-surgery, 2013
7 month old An and mom, post-surgery, 2013
LaRelle and 2 patients w/families, 2006
LaRelle and 2 patients w/families, 2006

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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
$15,922 to go
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