Save a Child’s Heart treats its 7,000th patient

January 12, 2024 by J-Wire News Service
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Save a Child’s Heart marked a major milestone when it cared for Kelvin, a 10-year-old from Kenya, the 7,000th child treated by the Israeli humanitarian organisation since its establishment in 1995.

Kelvin at Save a Child’s Heart

Kelvin’s life was saved thanks to the support of the German children’s charity organisation, BILD hilft e.V. “Ein Herz für Kinder”.

Kelvin was referred to Save a Child’s Heart by Kenyan Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Ombaba Osano, of the Cardiac Centre at Kenyatta National Hospital, who himself had previously trained with the Save a Child’s Heart team in  Israel.

In addition to providing heart treatments to hundreds of children each year, Save a Child’s Heart also trains practitioners from around the world who return to create centres of quality pediatric cardiac care in their own countries.

Dr Alona Raucher Sternfeld, Head of Pediatric Cardiology at Wolfson Medical Centre, said: “When Kelvin first arrived in Israel, the echocardiography showed that he had a big defect between the two main chambers of the heart. So, during surgery, the hole was closed, and the valve was replaced with a mechanical valve. After surgery, he also needed catheterisation to enlarge the ascending aorta. He recovered very nicely, and we are happy with his condition”.

His mother watches on as Kelvin is checked out

Save a Child’s Heart brought Kelvin’s mother, a Kenyan nurse, Kelvin, and ten other children from Kenya, to Israel to receive life-saving cardiac care. Kelvin underwent two life-saving procedures to treat his congenital heart defects on November 1, 2023 and December 18, 2023 at the Sylvan Adams Children’s Hospital and the Ida Cabakoff International Pediatric Cardiac Centre at Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon, Israel.

“Today, welcoming our 7,000th patient brings immeasurable joy. Each mended heartbeat and saved life attests to our team’s dedication to turning dreams into realities. I am excited and proud to be part of the SACH family,” says SACH House Mother Laura Kafif.

Kelvin said he was excited and proud to be the 7,000th child treated: “Being the 7,000th kid helped by Save a Child’s Heart felt really good. I was not scared, and now my heart feels better, I’m happy they fixed it. I am excited to go back home to meet my brother and sister, my friends, and to go back to school. I want to study and become a doctor one day. The doctors and everyone were so nice. Thank you, Save a Child’s Heart!”

Even as Save a Child’s Heart, which has helped children from 70 countries worldwide, was treating its 7,000th child, marking a major milestone in its international humanitarian mission, it was also helping meet urgent medical needs at home in Israel.

Doctors and medical team members at the International Pediatric Cardiac Care Centre for Save a Child’s Heart, which was built in recent years with support from the nonprofit’s community around the world, were actively treating ten recently-released hostages who had been abducted on October 7th and over 400 victims who were injured during the October 7th attacks.

The Children’s Hospital was built with the intention of being a safe and warm place for families and children to heal comfortably together. In the past year, it has served as a place of refuge for Israeli people as well as children in need of urgent cardiac care from around the world like Kelvin.

Martha, Kelvin’s mother,  said she was grateful to Save a Child’s Heart beyond words. “Save a Child’s Heart gave my son, Kelvin, a second chance at a happy and healthy life. Being the 7,000th patient made our journey with this organisation really special. The care from the amazing team healed my son and filled our hearts with gratitude. Wishing everyone at Save a Child’s Heart a long and happy life, continuing their important work to help more kids all over the world,” she said.

SACH was founded with a mission to save the lives of children from countries where access to pediatric cardiac care is limited or non-existent.

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