Yola, a wife and mother of two teenage daughters, was just thirty-two when she began to suffer high fevers, intense aches, shortness of breath, and dizziness. For five months, she was unable to perform her typical daily activities in her family’s rented, one-room home, high on a hill outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia.  

Yola was referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed her condition as mitral valve stenosis. Despite a loan from her father-in-law, the family was unable to pay for the heart surgery she desperately needed. Her husband, a street vendor, does not have a secure monthly income. The family can barely afford even their absolute necessities such as food and rent, while also striving to keep their daughters in school.

As much as Yola suffered, she couldn’t bear to see the pain it brought her husband and daughters, who were reduced to tears by the situation. “I don’t know what to do,” bemoaned her husband as he explained that his wife was often unable to get out of bed.  “When she sees my despair because I can’t get the money, she tells me to just forget about it, that she just won’t get the surgery. What will we do if she dies? Please, I am asking you to help us.”

Solidarity Bridge was able to answer Yola’s family’s pleas through our Heart Surgery Program and the healing hands of our Bolivian partner, Dr. Carlos Brockmann, who performed Yola’s mitral valve replacement at Clinica Belga in Cochabamba. Thanks also to the Hermitage Charitable Trust for providing the funds to make the surgery possible. Yola has now regained her health and returned home to the joyful embrace of her husband and daughters.