CAYMAN ISLANDS—Four children from Haiti have received free lifesaving surgery at Health City Cayman Islands, bringing the number of young Haitians who have benefited from Health City’s ongoing commitment to support the tertiary health care needs of Caribbean youth to eight.
The children included a critically ill 6-year-old girl with severe pulmonary issues and three children with patent ductus arteriosus, an unclosed communication between the aorta and pulmonary artery. The surgeries were performed as part of Health City’s partnership with Have a Heart Cayman, a philanthropic organization that raises money to support pediatric heart surgeries in the Caribbean.
The Haitian youngsters underwent treatment around the Christmas holidays and returned to their home country after being successfully treated. Dr. Chandy Abraham, medical and facility director at Health City, said the surgeries were once again performed gratis by Health City’s surgeons, this time led by Dr. Sripadh Upadhya, interventional pediatric cardiologist.
“While surgeries—and this project in particular—require the collaboration of many individuals to be successful, special thanks should be made to Dr. Upadhya and his team, who led all four procedures,” he said.
Abraham also showered praise on corporate partner Digicel for making the initiative possible via the use of its private jet and Have a Heart Cayman for “changing the lives of these four children forever.”
Upadhya said the procedures were accomplished with minimal invasiveness through a small hole in the groin. “The surgeries were performed in the catheterization laboratory with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualize the arteries and chambers of the heart.
“When the children arrived, they were barely able to walk or play. They were very sick. Following their surgeries, they were able to play and jump around and were even well enough to be visited by Santa,” he remarked.
Twenty-one children from Haiti have been identified by the Haiti Cardiac Alliance, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, as being in need of life-altering medical treatment.