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Henrico from Haiti raised $1,500 to fund cardiac surgery to repair multiple defects in his heart.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Henrico's treatment was fully funded on September 12, 2022.
September 12, 2022

Henrico passed away before he could travel and undergo cardiac treatment.

We just received an update from our medical partner that we wanted to share with you right away. We are deeply saddened to share that Henrico passed away suddenly before he was scheduled to travel to Italy for his heart surgery. Our thoughts are with his family as they cope with this unimaginable loss. Thank you for your offer of support and we will continue to do all we can to reach other children so they can live a full, healthy life.

We just received an update from our medical partner that we wanted to share with you right away. We are deeply saddened to share that Henric...

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August 30, 2022

Henrico is a kind 3-year-old boy, who lives with his parents in a small fishing village in western Haiti. He 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.

As the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Henrico will fly to Italy to receive treatment and, on September 27th, he will be able to undergo the life-saving cardiac surgery he needs. Henrico’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.

His family hopes he will have a bright future and plans to start him in preschool as soon as he has recovered from his heart surgery. Henrico’s mother shared, “Our family is praying for everyone who is making it possible for our son to have this surgery!”

Henrico is a kind 3-year-old boy, who lives with his parents in a small fishing village in western Haiti. He was born with a cardiac conditi...

Read more

Henrico's Timeline

  • August 30, 2022

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

  • August 31, 2022

    Henrico's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 12, 2022

    Henrico is no longer raising funds.

  • September 12, 2022

    Henrico's treatment did not happen. Read the update.

  • September 27, 2022

    Henrico was scheduled to receive 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.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 donors

Overseas Prep and Transportation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $4,280 for Henrico'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.