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April 18th, 2024 marks Gift of Life International’s 5th day here in Bolivia! The week is going by fast! As the week comes to an end, we have just a few surgeries left to do. The children who have already received surgery are all doing amazing and are on the way to a speedy recovery! These results would not be possible without our amazing training team, the dedication of the Bolivian team, as well as the support we receive from our donors. The donations we receive bring about life changing impacts, allowing us to heal as many little hearts as possible! 

We would also like to extend our gratitude to our incredible partners like Gift of Life Rotary District 7490 and Corazones Chiquitos Bolivia for their invaluable assistance.

Ezequiel

Ezequiel

Today Ezequiel made it out of the ICU and into the general ward! Him and his mom are so excited to begin their next step in his healing journey.

This is Shany! She is a four, almost five, year old born April 23rd, 2019.

Shany

Shany

Shany has one older sibling and one younger sibling, and they are from Coroico, La Paz. Shany’s mother’s name is Maria Linda and her father’s name is Lino Fabio. Both of her parents work in the fields around Coroico.

When Shany was born, doctors detected she had a heart murmur but told her parents the murmur would heal on its own. In October she began having difficulty breathing, could not go for walks, got tired super easily, then got a fever and began throwing up. During this time Shany did not have an appetite.

December came around and Shany finally had surgery for her subpulmonary stenosis. Subpulmonary stenosis is a blockage of the pathway blood flows in to reach the lungs. This blockage is caused by bundles of muscle that are too big. The surgery Shany had today removed these bundles of muscle and opened up this pathway once again!

Carlos

Carlos

Carlos was our second surgery today! Carlos is two years old and was born on March 28th, 2022. His mother’s name is Ariana Vargas, she is twenty-one years old and is a housewife while also studying interior and event design. Carlos’ father is twenty-four and works in construction.

Carlos has a ventricular septal defect, which causes symptoms such as breathing issues, tiring quickly, and fingers and lips turning blue. Ariana told us that “it’s like somebody unplugged him,” when he is playing because of how quickly he tires during play. Children should be able to play for hours without getting tired! This is why surgeries like these are crucial for the well-being of kids’ lives. Carlos is a playful, happy child and Ariana said that this surgery will help him finally be able to run around like a normal kid without getting too tired or turning blue. He’s always had an inhaler for his asthma-like problems that are caused by this defect. Ariana told us that this surgery will allow Carlos to play and run around without turning blue. 

One major component to Carlos’ story is how far he’s had to travel to receive his surgery. Hospital del Niño is up to a nineteen hour journey from Trinidad, Bolivia, where Carlos is from. The travel time depends on the mode of transportation. By plane the journey is fifty-five minutes, by car takes twelve hours, and by bus takes twenty six hours and thirty minutes.

On Carlos’ first journey to Hospital del Niño, he and his family took the bus. Carlos had to travel over a day in his condition to even just get his health simply examined! This is because Hospital del Niño is the only hospital in the country that patients can get referred to for these types of procedures, because of the partnership with Gift of Life International. This is a perfect example of why the collaboration with GOLI is so important, to help provide children with healthcare that they otherwise would never be able to receive. 

Luckily, Carlos was able to have a flight paid for by Corazones Chiquitos Bolivia, an affiliate charity of Gift of Life International and Hospital del Niño. This was organized by Karla Patzi, the organization’s executive coordinator. Karla cares very strongly about these kids and our mission, and we’re lucky to have her as part of the team that makes it all come together! There are so many cogs in this machine that have to work together to make these plans all come together. The work and communication between Gift of Life, Hospital del Niño, Corazones Chiquitos Bolivia, and the parents of the children are essential in the success of this program!

Carlos

Carlos

More pictures of Carlos that show off his sweet, goofy personality! Carlos

Karla Patzi transporting bags of supplies and meds from Customs to Hospital del Nino to ensure the success of this week’s visit.

Karla Patzi transporting bags of supplies and meds from Customs to Hospital del Nino to ensure the success of this week’s visit.

 

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