Malawi boy receives life-saving heart surgery in the US

A 9-year-old Joshua from Lilongwe underwent lifesaving heart surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, United States of America.

Joshua: Saved

This surgery corrected the congenital heart defect he was born with, Atrioventricular Canal Defect.

Joshua was able to travel from his home in Blantyre to Houston via the HeartGift program.

HeartGift provides lifesaving heart surgery to children from around the world where specialized medical treatment is either scarce or non-existent.

Joshua has been in Houston recovering from his heart repair and is scheduled to return to Malawi on March 7.

His stay and medical care are possible because of volunteers and donors in the Houston community.

Joshua and his Aunt Janet are being hosted by the Namwali family of the Clear Lake area.

“The generosity of the Houston community is amazing, providing medical partnerships, financial donations, a host home and volunteers to assist with translation,” said Rachael Wright, HeartGift’s Executive Director.

Joshua is the second Malawian child to benefit from the generosity of the HeartGift program after then 13-month-old Siyileni was operated on in 2017.

Siyileni arrived in Houston from Malawi in February of 2017.

At the time she was severely mal-nourished primarily due to a large whole in her heart. She cried much of the time and could barely sit up on her own or even play with any toys.

Since having her heart repaired on March 1, 2017 Siyileni has continued to thrive. On a recent visit to Malawi, her host Mother Joyce was able to video her walking and dancing.

HeartGift provides life-saving congenital heart defect surgery to children from around the world where specialised medical treatment is either scarce or non-existent.

Established in 2000, the foundation has served more than 400 patients, in over 34 countries.

1 in 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect, making it the most common type of birth defect. Congenital heart diseases are approximately 60 times more prevalent than a childhood cancer diagnosis. Many of these children never make it to their next birthday.

HeartGift, a US charity, was founded to address this disparity of care.

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3 years ago

Amazing! And Joshua looks cool – like a boy from Texas.

Leaders of Today
Leaders of Today
3 years ago

This is amazing.

3 years ago

How can they be contacted. I know one child struggling with the same. He was diagnosed with two holes at birth in June 2019.

Rachael Wright
Rachael Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Zondeni

Go to the HeartGift web site and click the button refer a child to see the qualifications and process.

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