Written by Oroyo Eubanks 14th April 2022

Four Little Hearts Mended for Easter

Recently Chain of Hope arranged for the emergency transfer of four children suffering from heart disease to travel to our partner centres in Aswan and Barcelona for urgent cardiac operations.

These children; Tona, Elie, Dickens and Shanizi, had life-saving cardiac operations in time to celebrate Easter at home with their families.

Read their stories below.

Tona and Elie flew from Rwanda to have emergency open-heart surgery in Barcelona.

Elie and Tona are both two years old and were born with a combination of four heart defects, known as Tetralogy of Fallot and needed urgent surgery to live and enjoy their childhood.

Before his surgery, Elie was very blue and due to his heart condition, he would frequently suffer from ‘spells’ during which he would go unconscious. 

 Tona also suffered from the same condition, so both children needed to have oxygen on board the plane to make the long flight to Hospital Sant Joan de Deu in Barcelona.

Chain of Hope arranged for two volunteer Paediatric Intensive Care doctors from Nigeria, Dr Anene-Nzelu and Dr Ogunlewe, to fly out to Kigali and accompany the children to Barcelona.
 
Once the complex travel and medical transfer logistics were in place, Elie and Tona were finally able to fly safely to Barcelona.  
 

Both children underwent their open-heart surgeries last week and are making strong recoveries as they prepare to return home in time for the Easter holiday. 

Meanwhile, Dickens and Shanizi flew from Uganda to Aswan, Egypt for their cardiac operation.

11 year old Dickens was first diagnosed at just three weeks old with complex congenital heart disease, Truncus Arteriosus.  

In 2011, Chain of Hope arranged for Dickens to have urgent heart surgery at The Royal Brompton Hospital in London, when he was just a baby.

Dickens required a second operation and Chain of Hope arranged for him to fly to the Aswan Heart Centre so he could have his interventional catheter procedure last week.

Shanizi is four years old and was also diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus. She had her first heart surgery through Chain of Hope in 2018, at The Harley Street Clinic in London.

Shanizi also required a second stage operation and over the last four years, The Uganda Heart Institute and Chain of Hope continued her cardiac follow-up.

Last week, Chain of Hope sponsored her second surgery which she did at the Aswan Heart Centre in Egypt.

Dickens and Shanizi now have a better chance to enjoy their childhood with a mended heart.

These are just four of the close to 300 children we have helped over the last year to have necessary cardiac operation. 

: Children

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