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Success! Aleeson from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund life-saving heart surgery.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Aleeson's treatment was fully funded on September 4, 2022.

Photo of Aleeson post-operation

November 17, 2022

Aleeson underwent life-saving heart surgery.

Aleeson and his father traveled from Haiti to finally help him undergo heart surgery. During surgery, the hole in Aleeson’s heart was closed with a patch and the muscular blockage in his valve was removed by the cardiac surgeon. His medical team shared that they expect him to lead a full and active life with no further danger from his condition.

Aleeson’s dad is feeling very relieved that his son is better and told us: “It is so exciting to see my son running around and playing without having to sit down to catch his breath!”

Aleeson and his father traveled from Haiti to finally help him undergo heart surgery. During surgery, the hole in Aleeson's heart was closed...

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August 30, 2022

Aleeson is a three-year-old who needs open-heart surgery. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his parents and one older brother; his father is an accountant and his mother is a homemaker. Aleeson was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. As a result of these defects, his heart cannot adequately provide oxygen to his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Doctors will perform open-heart surgery to repair these defects and to allow his heart to function fully.

As the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Aleeson will fly to Italy to receive treatment and on September 27th, he will undergo life-saving cardiac surgery. Aleeson’s family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany his family overseas.

Aleeson’s father shared: “Our family feels very lucky to have this wonderful chance for our son’s surgery.”

Aleeson is a three-year-old who needs open-heart surgery. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his parents and one older brother; his father is a...

Read more

Aleeson's Timeline

  • August 30, 2022

    Aleeson was submitted by Owen Robinson, Executive Director at Haiti Cardiac Alliance.

  • August 31, 2022

    Aleeson's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 4, 2022

    Aleeson's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 29, 2022

    Aleeson received treatment at Gianna Gaslini Pediatric Hospital in Italy. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • November 17, 2022

    Aleeson's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 17 donors

Funded by 17 donors

Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $4,280 for Aleeson's treatment
Subsidies fund $2,780 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

When a hole exists in the heart, a physician can hear a buzzing noise, or murmur, in the child's chest as blood passes through the hole at high velocity. The child's parents might notice that their son or daughter cannot keep up with other children in daily activities. In severe cases, the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream can lead to dramatic symptoms, such as blue lips and tongue, clubbed fingers and toes, and heart failure.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Virtually all of the conditions treated at Haiti Cardiac Alliance will eventually lead to death without surgery, the majority of them within one to two years. In the meantime, patients experience heart failure as their hearts struggle to compensate for the presence of leaks or other defects. In most conditions, the heart becomes fatigued, limiting the child's ability to be active, go to school, and participate in daily life.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Families in Haiti often have complex cultural mechanisms for understanding cardiac illnesses and their causes, sometimes involving voudou or other religious belief systems. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Haitian families in our medical partner's program also engage with the medical explanations and treatment of these conditions. Parents are willing and cooperative participants in their child's treatment.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient is first referred to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), by a pediatrician or another medical practitioner who detects symptoms that might be cardiac in nature. HCA staff then perform an echocardiogram to diagnose the cardiac condition. If surgery is required, the child joins a triaged waitlist to be placed for surgery with partner hospitals. It can sometimes take 6-12 months to move through this waitlist. During this period, HCA provides periodic cardiac checkups, changing the patient's triage position as appropriate. The child and his/her guardian then travel to the hospital with an HCA social worker. Typically, the child spends 4-5 days in or near the hospital prior to surgery for testing and examinations. After surgery, he or she spends several more days as an inpatient prior to being discharged. When the child is strong enough to travel, usually after several more weeks, he/she returns home to Haiti. HCA provides regular cardiac checkups for at least five years postoperatively before the final discharge from their program.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

These treatments are almost always life-saving in nature. These cardiac conditions are not survivable over the long-term without surgery. Within weeks after surgery, the patient should notice a difference in energy level. Many patients also undergo a growth spurt and/or gain significant weight after a surgery.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The risk of death during or shortly after an open-heart surgical procedure is about 3%. Other risks, though rare, include stroke and post-operative infection. In a small percentage of cases, the material used to patch the hole "blows," and a follow-up surgery is necessary to re-patch the defect.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Patients come to Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) from the entirety of Haiti. This can involve three days of travel in buses, pickup trucks, or even on horseback. There is no cardiac surgery of any kind available in Haiti outside of the HCA treatment network.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In general, patients are treated with medications to prevent heart failure until they are ready to travel. Patients may also seek care from traditional healers, who may use liquids and powders derived from local plants and roots.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.