“Nearly every child born with a heart defect can be saved with timely surgical intervention. The Heart to Heart story is about how a few people came together to save the life of one sick child and soon after founded and evolved a volunteer organization that has already saved the lives of more than 20,000 children. Heart to Heart continues to have global impact by teaching others how to successfully treat congenital heart disease.”
Every child has a story – and parents who have dreams for their child’s future. Some of these children saved by Heart to Heart in the past two decades are now young adults, leading healthy, productive lives. As part of Heart to Heart’s work we interview mothers of children scheduled for open heart surgery. Their stories, feelings, and insights add an important dimension to our clinical work and training. We present some of these stories here.
Each and every child is precious. The original founders of Heart to Heart initially came together to save the life of one child with a serious heart defect (above left and right: 1989, Maria S., age seven). This true act of kindness led to the creation of a visionary program model which was tested and proven to be incredibly effective in developing a center of excellence where more than 8,000 children have already been saved and new specialists are trained. Building on this initial success, Heart to Heart has expanded to areas where no heart care was available for children.
Imagine 20,000 stories! In 2014, doctors trained by Heart to Heart passed the milestone of having saved 20,000 children at our sponsored sites. This number is growing exponentially as additional partner sites reach self-sustainability. In the near future, by the time we finish our Campaign in Russia, more than 30,000 children will have been saved by newly trained specialists.
Heart to Heart’s first patient: When Maria’s plight came to the attention of Heart to Heart’s founders, she could only take seven steps without stopping and resting. Watch this video to see how after we operated on her, she could run for the first time in her life. Today, Maria is the proud mother of a healthy boy.