|[October 14, 2013]
Five-Year-Old Girl from Nigeria Receives Life-Saving Heart Surgery from HeartGift Austin
AUSTIN, Texas --(Business Wire)--
Austin recently changed the life of five-year-old Confidence from
Benin City, Nigeria by providing her with lifesaving heart surgery at
Children's Medical Center.
Five-year-old Confidence and her mother Mary from Benin City, Nigeria. (Photo: Business Wire)
HeartGift Austin brings children from developing countries to the United
States to give them the critical heart surgery they need, which
unfortunately is not available in their home country. The foundation
covers all expenses of the trip and provides for the needs of the
children during their visit.
Confidence received her diagnosis of Ventricular Septal Defect - a hole
between the lower chambers of her heart - when she was two months old.
In Nigeria, children with this birth defect typically die before their
tenth birthday. Confidence's heart was mended through HeartGift Austin's
partnership with the Dell (News - Alert) Children's Medical Center, along with funds
donated by an Austin-based technology company, Software
"Confidence recently underwent a successful four-hour procedure to
repair her heart," said Jennifer Edwards, HeartGift Austin Executive
Director. "We want to give a big thanks to the Dell Children's Medical
Center, our extensive medical community who donated over $250,000 in
specialized medical care, and the employees of Software Advice, who all
donated their time, talent and resources to save Confidence."
To make the cultural transition easier, HeartGift places each child and
their caregiver in a host home during their stay. These volunteer
families make the child's stay comfortable - and, after the surgery, a
lot of fun. Confidence and her mother Mary stayed with the family of
Software Advice's CEO Don Fornes. She made fast friends with Fornes'
three-year-old daughter and for six weeks lived as if she was part of
the family. Employees from Software Advice also helped with donations,
hospital visits and outside activities to make Confidence feel at home.
"It was an incredible experience to see this little girl's life
transformed over a matter of weeks. We are awed by modern medicine and
the generosity of our community," said Fornes. "But more importantly,
our family and the employees who dedicated their time and money to
Confidence's cause were also transformed by this experience. It always
feels good to give, but to witness firsthand such dramatic healing is
HeartGift as a whole has worked with more than 26 countries and finds
children through a referral process. Partnering humanitarian
organizations and physicians provide HeartGift with candidates who have
congenital heart defects, and a medical selection team reviews each
child's case and determines if they are eligible to receive surgery in
the United States.
Confidence will head back to Nigeria with a repaired heart and a
prognosis for a long and healthy life on Wednesday, October 16. For more
information about HeartGift Austin, to find ways to donate, or to learn
about volunteering or hosting a family, visit www.heartgift.org/chapters/austin
or contact Jennifer Edwards at email@example.com.
About HeartGift Austin
HeartGift Austin provides life-saving surgery to repair congenital heart
defects in children who live in countries where this kind of medical
care is not available. We provide our services at no cost to the family,
and we assume the financial responsibility for all medical expenses in
addition to coordinating travel, host families and lodging, meals,
translator services, and anything else the child may need. HeartGift
Austin has been saving the lives of children since 2000, and is the
original chapter of the HeartGift Foundation, based in Austin, Texas. In
early 2014, HeartGift will celebrate their 200th surgery with a child
arriving in Austin for lifesaving "heart gift" in January.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20131014006187/en/
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