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Gift of Life International

Healing little hearts in Romania

In 2016, Gift of Life International began its work in Romania at Grigore Alexandrescu Hospital (GAH) in Bucharest. The Romanian Ministry of Health and the City of Bucharest invested in the creation of a state-of-the-art pediatric cardiac unit at GAH. Gift of Life International global partners Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), Albany Medical Center, and Dr. Rodrigo Soto and his team provided training to the Romanian pediatric cardiac team at GAH between 2016 and 2019.

During the global pandemic, the Romanian team truly demonstrated their dedication to the children of Romania with heart disease. Training visits planned to provide additional mentorship were canceled due to pandemic restrictions but the Romanian team knew the children could not wait. They put the skills they had already learned to work and began regularly treating children on their own. With the surgical team from Cluj and the aftercare team from Bucharest, the Romanian health-care professionals ensured children with heart disease were treated by joining together in Bucharest two weekends each month to do whatever it takes to heal the heart of the next child.

Hope is now a reality at a public hospital in Bucharest for parents and their children with heart ailments.

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Stories from Romania.

Each child we save is another chapter in our story of how regular people, driven by passion, make a difference in the world. These are the stories of Romanian children who have been given a new chance at life. These are the stories that inspire us at Gift of Life International.

Stories from Romania

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Romania Program Development

2016 – Gift of Life International Begins Strategic Partnership in Romania

Following a site visit to Bucharest with our like-minded partners and with the completion of a new, fully equipped state-of-the-art pediatric cardiac unit at Grigore Alexandrescu Hospital (GAH) a country-specific strategic approach was put in place to develop an avenue for care of Romanian children with heart disease. Part of the strategy was to establish an in-country NGO to oversee and support the program. Gift of Life International affiliate, Salvati Inima Unui Copil Association became that entity managed by Executive Manager Roxana Ciufu.

2018 – Romanian team successfully completes first-ever pediatric cardiac surgery at GAH with a Romanian-only team

During our fifth training visit to GAH, the first-ever pediatric open-heart surgery was successfully completed with a Romanian-only team of healthcare professionals. The visiting Gift of Life team observed and was proud to see their skills transfer and mentorship over the previous two years would now benefit children with heart disease in Romania.

2021 – Romania Continues to Treat Children During the Global Pandemic

Training teams were not able to travel to Romania during the pandemic. However, children with heart disease were not able to wait until the pandemic was over for treatment. The Romanian healthcare professionals proved that no obstacles would stop them from healing the hearts of children in their own country. The surgical team from Cluj continued to travel to Bucharest where lockdowns and Covid 19 outbreaks were dodged so that little hearts could be healed. Additionally, Roxana Ciufu from our Romanian affiliate had worked tirelessly to ensure the specialized supplies and medications were available locally.

2023 – Continuing to Heal Little Romanian Hearts

We continue to work with our partners in Romania to strengthen their program, empower local healthcare professionals and heal the hearts of Romanian children in need. As is true with all our programs, the support of the Government remains a key element. We are working to encourage the Government and hospital administration to continue their support of this essential program.

Providing Hope to Children with Heart Disease in Romania

Learn more about our work in Romania

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“In Romania, over 1,000 children with heart malformations are born each year. The existence of this program in Romania, offers these little ones the chance for a new life. Without this program, many of them would have perished because their parents would not have been able to afford the costs of such an operation. When you save a life, you save a whole world.”
~ Roxana Ciufu, Executive Manager, Gift of Life Salvati inima unui Copil Association. (Gift of Life International Affiliate)

Our Impact in Romania since 2016.

319

Romanian Children Treated

1.2

Million Invested

9

Training Visits

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