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Managua, Nicaragua
-- ICHF team is currently operating at the Hospital Infantil in Managua. This is the seventh mission to the capital of Nicaragua. During the next two weeks, the team will operate on about 20 children with life-threatening cardiac defects. The team operated on Laura and Gerthyn yesterday and Maria and Lenin today. Four countries are represented among this team's members: USA, Peru, Croatia, and Nicaragua. Teammates For Kids Foundation, founded by country music singer Garth Brooks, is funding this mission through a generous $15,000 grant.

3 year old Laura, leaving the ICU this morning, 24 hours after closure of a hole in her heart
6 year old Gerthyn, on the morning prior to surgery
5 year old Maria, yesterday prior to surgery; Maria underwent repair of an atrial septal defect this morning; she is doing well
Gerthyn, 18 hours following repair of a ventricular septal defect

-- Six children have now received open-heart surgery on this Nicaragua mission. Laura, Gerthyn and Maria are all doing very well out of the ICU. Lenin is doing very well also. We are going to watch him an extra day in the ICU for precautionary reasons because of the degree of his pre-surgical heart disease. He will be transferred out with the other three children in the morning. This morning, the team operated on Heyner, a 2 year old boy with severe aortic stenosis. He did very well and is resting comfortably in the ICU with his mother. In the afternoon, we operated on Yadelin, a 3 year old girl with tetralogy of Fallot. She also did very well and is sleeping in the ICU. Both children are stable. Tomorrow, we will begin the day by operating on Mariangeles, a 6 month old girl with with a very complex and severe form of congenital heart disease, total anomalous pulmonary veins. Mariangeles is currently very sick and this operation and the postoperative care will be challenging.

2 year old Heyner prior to surgery
With grateful mother at bedside, Heyner falls back asleep with lollipop in hand, six hours after surgery
6 year old Lenin on the day prior to surgery
Lenin resting comfortably on postoperative day #1 with his father at bedside

-- We have now operated on 15 children. In the second week of this Nicaraguan mission, the ICHF team is fatigued from long hours in the operating room and intensive care unit, however spirits are buoyed by the happy parents and children. On Saturday, we operated on Maria, a 2 1/2 year old girl from El Salvador. Unable to receive surgical care in their native country, Maria's mother, Nancy, brought Maria to Managua when she heard of the ICHF team's arrival. Preoperatively, Nancy expressed feelings of anxiety and worry. These feelings have yielded to those of relief and happiness following her daughter's successful surgery.

2 1/2 year old Maria and her mother traveled from El Salvador to Nicaragua to be operated on by the ICHF team
On postoperative day #3, Maria rests on her mother's shoulder. Weeks of maternal anxiety and worry yield to feelings of relief and happiness
9 year old Yadelin on the postoperative day #5 with her "Heart Pillow" which is signed by all the ICHF doctors and nurses
When financial resources are limited, creative ways to save material and money are found. Here, the hospital radiology department uses ONE x-ray film to image TWO children!

-- The 12-member ICHF team returned from Managua last week. During this two-week mission, 18 children received life-saving open-heart surgery. On the last surgical day, a party was hosted for these children. Heartfelt thanks goes out to Garth Brooks' Teammates For Kids Foundation, Project Open Heart, and other financial supporters who made this trip possible. These eighteen children now look forward to happy and active lives thanks to your support.

Copyright 2002 International Children's Heart Foundation -- The International Children's Heart Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Memphis, Tennessee. We are dedicated to helping children with congenital or acquired heart disease in developing countries throughout the world. We serve all children without respect to their race, religion or sex. Our primary goal is to make ourselves obsolete in the countries that we serve. To this end, we strive to educate the health care professionals in the countries we travel and bring them to the United States for advanced study so that they may better serve their own children. Since midnight, 10 people have visited this website. Each visitor viewed an average of 1.2 pages.  We appreciate your interest.  Comments regarding , ,  are always welcome.