The skill and success rates of the surgical teams at Health City Cayman Islands are well known in medical circles in the Caribbean, but it is their humanitarian outreach that is touching lives in South America.
Thanks to the international hospital’s compassion-based mission to provide exceptional care to all, including the poor and vulnerable, two children from Bolivia whose parents could not afford the cost of pediatric cardiac surgery in their country have now received the lifesaving treatment.
The high elevation of Bolivia in the Andes mountain range complicates the lives of those suffering from heart and lung problems, and nearly 40 out of 1,000 Bolivian children die every year due to a lack of medical attention.
“Health City Cayman Islands was inspired to help these two young boys,” said Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO and Medical Director of the two-year old Caribbean hospital, “but we could not have done so without the dedicated staff of Samaritan’s Purse and Have a Heart Cayman Islands.”
Health City worked in close consultation with Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian organization that provides aid to people in need, and Have a Heart Cayman Islands, which subsidizes and provides lifesaving heart surgeries to children.
After undergoing a medical evaluation, eight-year old Carlos Isaac Villca Valdez and two-year old Abdael Mita Montero were quickly flown to the Cayman Islands where a local church group welcomed them before they were admitted to the accommodating tertiary care facility.
Carlos had a large hole between his two upper heart chambers and had been diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development in various parts of the body. Abdael suffered from Tet spells, a discoloration of lips and fingertips commonly known as “blue baby syndrome”.
The children were placed in the care of Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Health City’s Chief Cardiac Surgeon, and Consultant Interventional Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Sripadh Upadhya.
With the care of highly experienced teams of medical professionals at Health City Cayman Islands, Abdael underwent successful complex pediatric heart surgery and Carlos, a pinhole interventional procedure, and they are now back in Bolivia with their families.
Carlos’ mother, speaking with tears in her eyes, recalled how he loved soccer so much but could not play the game until the procedure restored healthy function to his heart. “He is going to be like a normal boy,” she proclaimed.
Dr. Upadhya recalled that Carlos’ family had been concerned that he might need open heart surgery but was delighted to learn the hole in his heart was closed with a transcutaneous catheterization laboratory procedure using a special device, without the need for major surgery.
Dr. Chattuparambil reported that Abdael’s post-operative recovery was smooth and the boy was discharged from Health City after five days. “His blue colored lips and fingers are now a healthy pink and he was seen playing with the other children in the hospital without any tiredness. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to save a child’s life.”
Working closely with Have a Heart, Health City Cayman Islands has provided life changing surgical treatment to children from Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica in addition to the two young Bolivian patients.
In the future, Health City Cayman Islands hopes to perform one charitable heart surgery each day for a child in need.