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Baby Joanna: Waiting for Heart Surgery

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Baby Joanna is the youngest of three little ones in her family.

Shortly after her birth, Joanna’s parents noticed that she struggled to breathe and had difficulty nursing. Initially, her parents’ concerns were dismissed by local health officials. Finally, at two months old, the doctors at a local hospital referred Joanna to the Uganda Heart Institute.

Uganda parents holding baby girl

Further testing there revealed that Joanna has Down syndrome and an AV canal defect. This heart condition requires surgical intervention that is not available in her home country of Uganda. The doctors told the family that sweet Joanna’s only chance for survival is surgery abroad. 

Baby girl lying on a blanket

Joanna’s mother had to quit nursing school to care for her full-time, creating an even greater financial hardship.

After requesting support from some local NGOs with no success, Joanna’s parents decided to make flyers to post around town in the hope that someone could provide the help their daughter so desperately needs. While no one offered direct assistance, a well-wisher did provide the contact information for an LWB team member in Uganda. The family was then provided with instructions on how to apply to LWB’s international cardiac program.

Once overwhelmed and heartbroken by the circumstances they were facing, Joanna’s family now has restored hope that she can have a healthy and happy future.

Uganda mom holding small baby in pink

Will you join us today and help fund the heart surgery that Joanna urgently needs?

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