Health City aims to give one charitable surgery a day

Eight-year-old Carlos Isaac Villca Valdex, and 2-year-old Abdael Mito Montero were flown to Cayman to have surgery. Their operations were successful. - Photo: Screen grab taken from a Health City Cayman Islands video

Health City Cayman Islands has already performed 68 charitable surgeries for children with heart problems and brain tumors, but the hospital hopes that within the next two years, it can offer one charitable heart surgery every day for a child in need.

In 2016, Health City and the Have a Heart Foundation aim to offer 100 or more surgeries to children from around the globe.

With the support of Digicel, the Rotary Club Grand Cayman, and other charitable organizations like Samaritan’s purse and Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Health City and the Have a Heart Foundation are confident they can meet this goal.

Working closely with Have a Heart, Health City has saved the lives of children from Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and most recently, the hospital provided life-saving treatment to two young boys from Bolivia.

After undergoing a medical evaluation, 8-year-old Carlos Isaac Villca Valdex, and 2-year-old Abdael Mito Montero were recently flown to the Cayman Islands to be admitted to Health City. The boys parents could not afford the cost of surgery in their home country.

Carlos had a large hole between his two upper heart chambers and had been diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development in various parts of the body.

Abdael suffered from “Tet spells,” a discoloration of lips and fingerprints caused by a rapid drop of the amount of oxygen in the blood. The condition is often referred to as “blue baby syndrome.” The high elevation of Bolivia can complicate the lives of those suffering from heart and lung problems.

Under the care of chief cardiac surgeon Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil and consultant interventional paediatric cardiologist Dr. Sripadh Upadhya, Abdael underwent a complex heart surgery and Carlos, a pinhole interventional procedure. Both surgeries were successful, and the boys are now back in Bolivia with their families.

Carlos’ mother was thrilled her son would be able to once again play soccer.

“He is going to be like a normal boy,” she said in a press release.

According to the Health City release, Carlos’s family had been concerned that he might need open heart surgery but were “delighted” to learn the hole in his heart was closed with a transcutaneous catheterization laboratory procedure using a special device, and he did not require major surgery.

Dr. Chattuparambil said in the release that Abdael’s post-operative recovery was smooth.

“His blue coloured lips and fingers are now a healthy pink and he was seen playing with the other children in the hospital without any tiredness,” Dr. Chattuparambil said. “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to save a child’s life.”

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  1. I believe this is a good thing, I would also love to hear that at least one patient from the Cayman Islands HSA is given a charitable service once a week at Health City that cannot be handled at George Town Hospital. Meaning Cases that have to be sent off island and can not be dealt with here. Offering this service to overseas patients are welcomed however; we want to also show this charity beginning at home, whereby we can definitely boast of the Health City charitable services being offered to Cayman patients also.

  2. Some people only see the glass half-empty. People from the Cayman Islands were already given free surgeries.
    What Health City does is unheard of and they deserve a standing ovation. Children must be a priority for charitable surgeries.