Gift of Life Metro New York >> Success Stories

Liam, El Salvador

image of Liam
Liam’s heart defect was detected immediately after he was born. At 11 days old, a cardiologist told his parents he needed open-heart surgery. At 11 months old, the surgery was performed but he had a complication known as heart block so he needed to have a pacemaker implanted. Now almost 3 years later, the pacemaker needed to be changed. His heart depends 100% on the pacemaker. The pacemaker is very expensive and his mother was not able to afford it. She was separated from Liam’s father 2 years ago and struggles to support their basic needs. Liam also does not have a relationship with his father – only with his mother, grandmother and aunt. Even though Liam’s heart is now healed, his mother worries about him everyday. She is grateful for your support to help heal Liam’s heart. She is so happy to watch him play knowing that his life would have been shortened if not for you.

Read Ruth’s story of appreciation from her family and community in Ethiopia

Santiago, El Salvador

photo of Santiago

Santiago likes to play and watch cartoons. His favorite food is spaghetti. He lives with his parents and his grandmother cares for him while they are at work. Santiago is excited because soon he will be a big brother.

When Santiago was just 1 1/2 years old, his parents took him to the pediatrician for a check-up and was told that he had a heart murmur. After seeing a cardiologist, they were told that he would need a catheterization procedure to heal his heart.

Despite his heart condition, the smile has never left Santiago’s face. Now that his heart is healed, thanks to you, he is feeling much better, has more energy and is excited to play and welcome his little brother into their family.

Dailyn, El Salvador

photo of Dailyn

Dailyn lives with her parents and 8-year-old brother in a one-room borrowed home which is situated close to the border of Honduras. It is a 7 hour trip to get to the hospital. Dailyn’s mother was very concerned when she had a high fever. She made the long trip to the hospital and was told during the examination that her daughter had a heart defect which needed treatment. After further evaluation, it was determined that her heart could be healed with a catheterization procedure.

Dailyn likes to sing, play with the chicks and with her brother who has autism. Her father is a farmer and plants corn and beans for the family’s consumption.

This family is extremely grateful that Dailyn’s heart is now healed thanks to you. This will take a huge burden of worry off their shoulders as well as the financial burden of the long and expensive trips to the hospital.

Catalina, Honduras

photo of Catalina

Adorable Catalina is a very active little girl who is well-known and loved by all in her village. Her father is a construction worker and the sole supporter of the family since her mother stays home to care for her. Two years ago, Catalina’s heart began to beat very fast. Her parents took her to the pediatrician who immediately told them she had a heart condition that needed treatment. They did not know what to do since these types of procedures are not available in Honduras. They heard that doctors in nearby El Salvador could help Catalina. However due to the covid-19 pandemic, they were not able to travel across the border to see the Salvadoran cardiologists. Recently, they were able to make the trip with Catalina and were told that she would need a catheterization procedure to heal her heart. Catalina was treated in El Salvador and is now back in Honduras chasing her Grandmother’s chickens and dogs thanks to you.

Richardson Jean, Haiti

Our first Gift of Life child sponsored this year is Richardson Jean. He arrived on May 15, 2019 from Haiti along with his mother Ones. Richardson’s surgery was made possible by the generous support of the Eastchester Rotary Club. Richardson is just 16 months old and was operated on by the dedicated staff at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital on May 23, 2019. He and his mother were able to return home to Haiti on June 2nd. We look forward to being able to report on Richardson’s progress in the year’s to come. Thanks to the host families Jenny and Washington Saa-Tomala and Tricia Gordon.

Katia, El Salvador

photo of Katia

Sweet Katia is an only child and has struggled to survive since the day she was born. Immediately following her birth, she was hospitalized in the ICU for 15 days due to difficulty breathing. Just prior to her recent heart surgery, her parents took her to the hospital again due to bronchial spasms and she was admitted. Following her heart surgery, she had complications and struggled to survive. She was in the ICU for one month following her surgery. She was frail and very malnourished since her body could not thrive due to her heart condition. At 8 months of age, Katia was just 8 pounds. She is a fighter and is doing much better. Now she needs proper nutrition to gain weight and strength. The family will be provided PediaSure through our nutritional program to help Katia recover and grow. Thank you for helping to save little Katia’s life!

Erda Aliu, Kosovo

Erda was just 3 years old when she came here from Kosava. The amazing Doctors at Maria Fareri Hospital performed surgery to repair a large hole in her heart in December 2014. The operation has helped transform Erda from a quiet, reserved child into a young girl who is very expressive and full of energy.

Jaedan Ramkaran, Trinidad

Jaedan was 2 years old when he came to us from Trinidad. Open heart surgery was performed by the dedicated Doctors at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in August 2013. Jaedan is now 7 years old, without limitations, and is scheduled to return to the U.S. soon for a follow up.

Danna Mendoza, Ecuador

Danna was only 1 year old when she came here from Ecuador with 2 holes in her heart. She had two procedures with surgery performed in July 2017. Danna’s family recently celebrated her one year anniversary from her surgery and look forward to a lifetime of celebrating milestones and her beautiful smile.

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District 7230 Rotary Gift of Life. Inc.
PO Box 132
Elmsford, NY 10523-0132

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