Only 10,000 dollars to save a child; “Save a Child’s Heart” training the first Ethiopian Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon

logoAn Israeli based humanitarian organization striving to work towards improving children’s chance of survival in relation to congenital heart defects, “Save a Child’s Heart” group is now training the first Ethiopian Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon and also raising money for a special young boy named Eliyas.

Each year one million babies are born with congenital heart defects. Ten percent of them do not live to see their first birthday due to lack of treatment, most of them in poor and developing countries. Since its creation in 1995, the organization “Save a Child’s Heart” has been improving the quality of cardiac care for children in developing countries who suffer from heart disease.

David Litwack, the executive director to Save A Child’s Heart said, ” In the US, it would cost from $100000 to $200000 for these pediatric cardiac surgeries. But with us, however complicated the case is, however long the child and his/her mother would have to stay and regardless of the number of surgeries, it only costs $10000. And this is because of the team of highly qualified volunteer professionals we have got. They help us reduce the cost.

The group’s ultimate goal to enable countries to treat their own children. The group has made a commitment to do at least 50 children per year from Ethiopia. Although Ethiopia has only 2 cardiologists for the whole country, the doctor the group is training will be the first Pediatric Cardiac surgeon for the country.

Save a Child’s Heart has treated children from 48 different countries around the world including Eastern Europe, Asia, South America and the Palestinian Authority. 40 percent of the kids treated come from Africa.

Michael Brown, the group’s youth branch chairman in the US said ” Just this last year, we started bringing children from Haiti, El Salvador, Peru and this past summer, we have started bringing children in from Syria. We are going and we will be going wherever the need is.”

Recently, the group had organized a fundraising event in Washington to raise money for a special boy named Eliyas.

Eliyas is a 15 years old Ethiopia and one of the 26 children who are being treated in Israel currently. After his open heart surgery, he also had a foot surgery to treat his bone malformation that had prevented him from running and walking properly. His leg casts are off and with his chest healing so well, his doctors say that he might be able to go back to Ethiopia in about a month.

The event organized in Washington had raised more than 10,000 dollars for Eliyas.