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3 Ugandan Children Arrive in India for Heart Surgeries

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This week, three children from Uganda headed to India to receive their long-awaited heart surgeries.

3 children and parents travel from Uganda to India for heart surgeries.

As with any complicated trip involving medically fragile kids, some travel glitches occurred. Sadly, one of the children chosen for this travel group, little Arianna, is currently ill in the hospital and unable to travel, and we’re working with this family to develop some options once she feels stronger.

In the meantime, please meet our other little travelers!

Johanan just turned eight years old and is the beloved only child of two parents.

Mom and dad with young son in front of a cement block wall

When he was just a few weeks old, doctors told his parents that he had a heart defect called a ventricular septal defect (VSD) that was expected to close on its own. Unfortunately, there was some misunderstanding about the need for follow-up to assure that it would close, and his parents were distressed to recently learn that it had not closed. Johanan needs urgent surgery.

Boy in a blue shirt and khaki shorts stands in front of a cement block wall.

His father is unemployed, so they were beyond grateful when he was accepted into LWB’s medical care program to travel to India for surgery. They told our team, “We feel blessed for the grace that has been extended to our son.”

Four-year-old Blessing has a large atrial septal defect (ASD). Her mother was advised that the hole in Blessing’s heart should be surgically closed before she started school.

Little girl in red dress and sandals

As a young single mother, she had no way of paying for her daughter’s expensive cardiac operation and ultimately sought help from LWB. When Blessing was accepted to travel, she was so thankful her daughter’s heart could be healed that she leapt with joy!

Natasha has a rare heart condition called aortopulmonary window in which there is a connecting ‘window’ between the aorta and the main pulmonary artery. She grows tired quickly and has had difficulty gaining weight. In fact, she has been hospitalized approximately twice monthly since she was just a baby.

Little girl from Uganda stands in front of a green bush

At four years old, Natasha is much older than the recommended age for repair of this defect. Because her parents were unable to afford the cost of the operation, she has been approaching heart failure. The boss of Natasha’s father helped them apply for help from LWB, and everyone involved is grateful that Natasha can finally receive the surgery she needs.

After a long and tiring journey from Uganda, the three kids and their parents have all arrived safely at Amrita Hospital in India and are settling in well.

3 children and their parents from Uganda arrive at an Indian airport

Our little patients have had their blood work, EKGs, and X-rays done. This week, they will have echocardiograms, and doctors will come up with a plan for surgery and treatment.

Little girl in pink dress colors in hospital while awaiting heart surgery.

While they wait for their surgeries, Blessing and Natasha are really enjoying the toys that our India team member brought for them.

Little girl in black polka dot dress holds a doll and stands on tiptoes.

Johanan will be the first to have his heart repair surgery. Positive thoughts and prayers for him — and for all the families involved — are greatly appreciated!

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