Heart to Heart
In September, we were proud to partner with an international coalition of medical professionals to advance the goals of our Pediatric Heart Surgery program. Partnership is at the heart of our work. In low-income countries, where the public health system often suffers from significant resource deficits and many patients struggle to afford the costs of complex health care, finding ways to bring together the resources of many disparate groups is often necessary to preserve the life, health, and dignity of every person.
In this instance, Solidarity Bridge and Puente de Solidaridad joined with Heart Gift, a team of missioners from the Texas Children’s Hospital of Houston. All of our organizations have relationships with the Incor Clinic in Santa Cruz and their charitable foundation, Fundacor. Together, we provided life-saving heart procedures for 23 pediatric patients at the beginning of September.
The patients ranged in age from 5 months to 16 years old. A majority came from the city of Santa Cruz and its surrounding areas, but patients also traveled from as far as Sucre, Cochabamba, and Oruro, Bolivia. Each family counted on financial support provided by Solidarity Bridge, made possible by the Goff Gift Fund. In addition to financial support, families benefited from the involvement of social workers from Puente de Solidaridad who accompanied them throughout their medical journey. The team from Texas Children’s Hospital brought experts in the cardiopathies to be treated, and vital supplies that made the surgeries and less-invasive catheterization procedures achievable at the Incor Clinic.
“We’re optimistic that these less invasive procedures, will contribute to the improved quality of life of these children,” shared Patricia Paz Estenssoro, regional administrator of Puente de Solidaridad in Santa Cruz. It was a joy to share the happiness of these families as their children received the surgical care they needed. It was also a pleasure to be in solidarity with the staff at the Incor Clinic and the missioners from Texas Children’s Hospital, as we worked intensely for six days on this shared goal—to provide healing care to children in need. Through prayer and action we’ve been strengthened by our own faith and united with all of those who were part of this beautiful act of solidarity and hope.