Who is in Israel This Week:
Save a Child's Heart is currently treating twenty six children:
Before surgery After surgery
Mary-Joelle is a beautiful 11 year old girl from Rumonge village in Burundi. She has been accompanied to Israel by her mother. Her parents are both employed as teachers (her mother teaches primary levels and her father teaches secondary levels). She lives with her parents and 7 siblings in a house with 4 rooms (3 bedrooms and 1 sitting room). It takes them 1.5 hours by foot to reach the nearest hospital. Mary-Joelle attends school and is in the 6th grade. Her favourite subject is French and she hopes to become a doctor when she grows up. She enjoys playing football with her friends but unfortunately gets tired easily due to her heart condition. She is unable to participate in physical activities because they cause her to cough. When she was 8 years old, her parents brought her to the hospital because she was not eating. In fact, she was loosing weight due to her lack of appetite. As well, her heart was beating very quickly, which could be felt easily by placing one's hand on her chest. It was at this visit that doctors came to the conclusion that she had a heart condition. She has been receiving medication in Bujumbura but must now have an operation. Mary-Joelle is warm and friendly. Though new to the SACH home, she is settling in nicely and making new friends. She is looking forward to being better and going back to school when she gets home.
Eliyas Mekonin Zewude
Eliyas is a handsome 15 year old boy who lives in Jimma city. He grew up in a small village but ran away from home when he was 8 years old. In his village there was no possibility to attend school and Eliyas really wanted to get an education so now he lives with his aunt. Most of her children are already out of the house, one is in university and the other one is working. Eliyas is very happy to live with her and his uncle who is retired. His aunt sells vegetables and takes care of him and her youngest daughter who still lives with them. He is currently attending the 6th grade and loves school. He is very good with his hands and loves to do chores that involve electricity. Eliyas’ big dream is to become an engineer. He is very smart and creative.
Mulualam Tamiru Wolde
Mulualam is a shy 13 year old girl from Dedo, a village in the Jimma area. She is very sweet and tells us about her village. She lives there with her parents, two brothers and two sisters, she is the youngest in the family. Mulualam attends school and is currently in the 6h grade, she likes the English course the best. After school she collects wood for the fire and helps her mother. Mulualam especially likes to help out with making coffee; she doesn’t like to drink it herself but enjoys making it for visitors and family. Three years ago she had an accident when she was plucking coffee beans; she got a bean in her eye and unfortunately lost the sight in that eye. The doctors discovered that she had a heart condition at the age of three, when she was always sick, felt weak, and was suffering from palpitations.
Hikma Abajebel Abamdka
Hikma is a stunning 11 year old girl from Jimma city. She is the youngest of six. She lives with her three brothers and three sisters together with her parents. Hikma’s father is a gardener and her mother is a house wife. The rest of her family doesn’t live in Ethiopia as they went to Sudan and Saudi Arabia to find a better job. Hikma goes to school and currently attends the 4th grade. Her favourite subject is English. Hikma and her family only discovered six months ago that she had a heart condition. She did experience shortness of breath and fainted every once in a while, but only now did the doctors discover the heart problem. Hikma would like to become a doctor herself when she grows up.
Kalab Mitiku Beyene
Kalab is a cute six month old baby boy from Jimma. He is an only child and lives with his parents, who adore him. When Kalab was born he was sick but the parents didn’t discover what was wrong with him until two months ago. Kalab’s father is a teacher and his mother is a student in a technical school in Jimma, so she speaks some English.
Rehima Temam Abagojem
Rehima is a beautiful 11 year old girl from Serbo, a small village near Jimma. She lives with her parents, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. They own a small farm were they grow vegetables. Rehima is in 5th grade and loves attending school. She discovered her heart condition 5 years ago because of shortness of breath and palpitations. Most of the time she doesn’t suffer from symptoms and she loves to play sports, especially running. Also, she collects water and wood every day to help her mother. Rehima was very excited to come to Israel and hopes to have her heart fixed so that she will never have to worry about it again.
David Kofi Kumah
David is a cute little baby boy from Ghana. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers in the capital, Accra. His father is an engineer and his mother works as a secretary. David loves crayons and balloons. He is a very energetic boy who loves to jump around, unfortunately his condition gives him some restrictions; he gets tired very easily. When he was born they discovered that there was a problem with his right ear, because of this they were sent to the hospital and after numerous tests he was diagnosed with a heart condition. His mother is very grateful to be here and to get this chance.
Seyram Ama Letsu
Seyram is a vibrant 5 year old girl who can dazzle anyone with her beautiful smile and bright eyes. She is an only child and knows how to get things her way, but she is also very pleasant and respectful which makes it a joy to have her around. She lives with her mother and the family of her father in Akatsi, a village that is a 3 hour drive from Accra. Seyram’s father is a businessman in Accra and he visits them as often as he can. Seyram loves to draw and watch cartoons. She was only 2 months old when they discovered she had a heart condition, due to breathing problems and pain in her chest they had to go to the hospital. In 2011 Seyram underwent an operation in Ghana, which helped her a lot, but the doctors explained that she would need another surgery in the future and this is why she and her mother are now in Israel. Seyram tells us she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up and although she doesn’t like needles she takes all of her medication with a big smile.
Dalya is a sweet, vivacious twelve year old young woman from northern Iraq, who is in Israel with her great aunt. Dalya is very joyful and mature girl, who is very communicative and loves to explore her surroundings. Dalya has a warm and outgoing spirit which combined with her disarming smile wins everyone around her. Despite her congenital heart disease, Dalya had a perfectly normal and healthy childhood, and only recently discovered about her heart disease. She began to notice that her lips and fingers would turn dusky blue and that she become short of breath after exercise. A long search to find answers to her medical issues resulted in her diagnosis and her trip to Israel.
Sara, from Northern Iraq is accompanied to Israel by her mother. When she first arrived in Israel, in a very foreign environment she was initially very nervous. However, her mother's strength was enough to ease her anxieties about her upcoming procedures. Like most other adolescents, this beautiful thirteen year old girl is very emotionally sensitive, but she is quick to make friends, taking the younger children under her wing. In Iraq, Sara has a twin and is one of 10 children! Sara was diagnosed with a heart defect as an infant. Her specific condition is one that is ideally corrected during early childhood. Doctors in Baghdad made a decision to wait when she was a baby to see if she might naturally grow out of the condition. Growing up with a serious heart condition is extremely difficult and her perseverance is apparent in her will to continue in her bravery in the face of serious medical procedures.
Faiz is a one week old baby boy from Gaza, admitted to the Wolfson Medical Center as an urgent case. Faiz came to Israel by ambulance and was immediately admitted to the ICU at Wolfson Medical Center.
Laurentiu is a twelve year old boy from Romania. Laurentiu comes from the village of Furnicari, near the city of Tamasi in Romania. He lives in a house with his parents and his older brother and sister. Laurentiu’s father is a construction worker and his mother is a house-wife. Laurentiu was diagnosed with congenital heart disease at the age of four months, when he went to the doctor with the flu. He attends the third grade in school and although he loves it, he has to miss it often due to his illness and is already a year behind. Laurentiu has trouble reading but is very good in writing. At school he likes to play football and to draw, but he prefers to stay at home next to his mother, because he is scared something will happen and she won’t be there. Laurentiu was referred to Save a Child’s Heart by Dr. Georgina, who trained with us during 2012. This is Laurentiu's second time with us in Israel. In 2013, Laurentiu spent 6 months in Israel and underwent four catheterizations and two surgeries. Despite having spent a great deal of his young life in and out of hospitals, Laurentiu always has a smile to offer and is a very gentle child.
David Stefan Acatrinei
David is a cute 10 month old baby boy from Vaslui, Romania. He is an only child and lives with his parents who both adore him. His parents work together and are both nurses at a psychiatric department for children. Since David's birth his mother stayed at home because of his heart condition.
Octavian Stefan Biru
Octavian is a charming little 3 year old boy who lives in a small community near Podu Turcului. He lives there with his parents and 2 older sisters and 1 brother. His brother is six and likes to play with Octavian, while his older sisters are already married and one of them has a little baby boy. Octavian's father is a handyman and his mother is a housewife.
Eldyn Bessie Abbey Ganza
Eldyn is a three week old baby girl from Rwanda. Eldyn was born with a severe heart defect and was transferred to the Wolfson Medical Center as quick as possible. After all the visas, passports and flight tickets were arranged, she could finally travel to Israel accompanied by her mother and a nurse. Little Eldyn had to travel with a bottle of oxygen and both in Rwanda and in Israel there were ambulances transporting her to and from the airport. Eldyn is currently in Wolfson’s ICU and will undergo life-saving heart surgery ASAP.
Simon is a charming little boy who can get anything done with his big smile and beautiful eyes. Simon is 6 years old and he has brothers as well as sisters but he cannot remember how many. His father sells vegetables at the market and his mother is a tailor. He is in 1th grade in school and loves it; he would like to go to school every day of his life. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up.
Yulitha Deonidas Mchunguzi
Yulitha is a bubbly, cheerful 13-month-old baby girl from Kilmahewa village in Mwanza, Tanzania. She is in Israel with her mother. Her father, twin sister and older brother and sister remained in Tanzania. Yulitha’s family live in their own brick house, approximately 15 minute drive from Bugando Medical Centre. Yulitha’s mother explains that when Yulitha was born, she had heavy, compressed breathing. Despite the doctors believing that this would pass, given her age, the heavy breathing continued until she was diagnosed with a hole in her heart at six months of age. Yulitha is very small for her age, and is not yet able to walk. Despite this, she is extremely personable, and loves to be the center of attention.
Jese Felix Mugusi
Jesse is an adorable 3 year old from Mwanza, Tanzania where he lives with his parents and grandmother, Rose, who has accompanied him to the Save a Child's Heart house. His parents, both of whom are farmers, are waiting for him to return home healthy. His father has a primary school education and Jesse is eager to start his own education when he returns home. Jesse's favorite foods are rice and ugali. Jesse loves to run and jump, and his heart condition, which was discovered at the hospital when he was only 3 months old, cannot stop him from running and playing with the other children at the SACH house. Although he was admitted to the hospital for a month in Tanzania, they were unable to perform the necessary complicated surgery, so he's come to Israel, where he has quickly carved a place for himself among the other children. He's very outgoing and smiley and loves to take pictures.
Demerisi Diocres Mutangira
Demerisi is a lovely 7 year old girl who comes to Israel from Tanzania, where she lives with her parents and 3 siblings. She attends school and is in the 2nd grade. Her favourite colour is white, her favourite food is chapati, and she really enjoys playing with tins. At the SACH home, she gets along well with the other children. Though she is quite small for her age, she keeps up with them well and says that it is good to be here. She has burns on her hand and stomach due to an accident with boiling porridge. She is here without her mother.
Aisha Mbukilo Kayandakamo
Aisha is a beautiful 5 year old girl from Mwanza, Tanzania. There, she lives with her mother (Scholastica), her father (Mbukiro), and her 6 siblings (5 girls and 1 boy) with whom she loves playing. Both of her parents are farmers. During the day, Aisha can be found in the kindergarten class of the local school. Her favourite subject is English. Aisha often gets fevers, which is how her heart condition was initially discovered. During a hospital visit for one of her severe fevers, the doctors did some additional tests and discovered something was wrong with her heart. Fortunately, she currently experiences no limitations from her heart condition. She is able to play with her friends without becoming too tired. She loves eating chips and meat and enjoys playing with dolls. In fact, she can often be found sitting quietly in the SACH house with a doll wrapped around her back - in the same traditional way mothers from home carry their babies. Although Aisha is shy and still getting used to the 'balagan' that is the SACH house, she is very well behaved and enjoys participating in craft activities and playing with the other children. She doesn't know yet what she wants to be when she grows up.
Best Graceford Tibihika
Best, also known as "Besti", is a 13 year old boy from Kagera, Tanzania. He made the trip to Israel alone, leaving his mother, father, and 3 siblings at home. Their house consists of 4 bedrooms and 1 sitting room and is located 6 minutes by car to the nearest hospital. Both of his parents are teachers. Best enjoys school very much. He is in the 7th grade and his favourite subject is science. Fittingly, he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. His hobbies consist of studying and watching the news. Best is quiet, shy, and extremely bright. He can understand much more English than he lets on to and is a pleasure to be around. He is very helpful in the SACH house and can often be found taking care of the younger children. Doctors discovered his heart condition 1 year ago. Luckily, he experiences no limitations from it currently. His favourite colour is white and his favourite meal is fish and rice. Best says that being here without his mother doesn't scare him. Though he feels good to be here, he is excited to go home and be able to cook for his family.
Jenifa Clementi Shigukulu
Jenifa is a precious little 2 year old with the fattest of fat cheeks. She lives with her parents, Elizabeth Samuel and Clement Shigukulu, and her 6 older siblings in Bariadi-Simiyu, Tanzania in a big house. Her parents own a shop that sells construction supplies, from which they are able to support their big and bustling family. Jenifa was diagnosed with her heart condition at 6 months of age, when she began to lose weight, didn’t learn to sit up alone, and developed neck problems. She was taken to the hospital and determined to have Down syndrome with a comorbid heart condition. Although her family lives a mere 15 minutes from the hospital, the resources in Tanzania are not up to the task of saving this cuddly baby’s heart. She was referred to the Wolfson Medical Center through SACH’s Medical Mission in Tanzania. She has quickly won over the hearts of the volunteers and staff at the SACH house with her happy and smiling personality. Her heart condition prevents her from being active, as she tires easily and drops asleep if she crawls for too long. Jenifa’s mother wishes for Jenifa to become a doctor one day. Hopefully, with a new healthy heart and a loving mother, Jenifa’s dreams will come true.
Willium Chiragwile Msomi
William is a cuddly 10 month old boy from the Musoma village in Tanzania. His home, which has 2 bedrooms and 1 sitting room, is a 30 minute walk from the nearest hospital. He lives with his parents, who are both farmers, and his 7 older siblings (5 sisters and 2 brothers). When Willium was just 2 weeks old, he was brought to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing. X-rays revealed a hole in his heart. He was also diagnosed with Down syndrome. He suffers often from severe fever and coughing due to his heart condition. This little guy enjoys milk and porridge and loves to laugh - every time he does his forehead wrinkles in the cutest way. His mother hopes for his future to be filled with education.
Ayoub John Simon
Ayoub, also known as "Ayouboo", is a lively 1 year old boy from the Kayanga District in Kagara, Tanzania. He has large brown eyes and a big personality. He is very mobile, and can often be found crawling around on the floor in a puddle of his own drool. He lives with his parents and 5 older siblings (2 boys & 3 girls) in a big house that has 6 rooms. Their home is located 10 minutes by car from the nearest hospital. His mother, Aliynoda, works as a business woman running a store that sells hand bags and shoes. His father, John Simon, works at the church. At 6 months old, Ayoub began having difficulty breathing. He was then admitted to the hospital and found to have a severe case of pneumonia. From there, he was referred to the Bugando Medical Centre for out-patient care as he waited his trip to Israel for surgery. Ayoub's favourite food is porridge and his favourite toys are little cars. His mother has high hopes for her son; wishing that one day he will be a minister in their church.
Aiman Juma Ame
Aiman is almost 4 years old and comes to SACH from Mumbasa, Zanzibar where she lives with her 2 siblings and her parents in a big 3-bedroom house. Her mother, Saada, is a business woman, and her father, Juma, works in a hotel bar. Aiman’s heart condition was discovered when she was having regular high fevers and fainting spells at 3 months old. She was sent to the Mnazi Mmoja hospital, which is luckily only a 30 minute bus ride away from her house, where she was treated for her condition. However, the hospital lacked the necessary resources to perform the complicated surgery needed to cure her. The story of how Aiman came to Israel is an amazing one. Her resourceful father, not disheartened by the lack of medical resources in Zanzibar, brought up his daughter’s condition to some Israeli tourists at the hotel where he works, who mentioned the Save a Child’s Heart organization. Returning home, he looked up the organization online and took the initiative to email the office concerning his daughter. He was then told to travel to Mwanza to the Israeli Medical Mission, where SACH doctors took one look at Aiman’s adorable face and bubbly personality and beating heart and pronounced that she would be on the next plane to Israel. Her mother is very excited for her to be healthy so she can lead a regular life playing with her friends and attending school. Aiman loves to draw and write and can’t wait to start school next year when she returns to Zanzibar with her healthy heart. Aiman is an adorably silly girl with a loud personality who leaves her mark on everyone and everything she touches.
Abubakar Ame Hamza
Abubaker is a tiny 2 week old baby, who came to Israel with our doctors, when they returned from the medical mission in Zanzibar. After seeing him during the medical mission, Dr. Tamir decided immediately to bring little Abu with him on the plane the next day; to wait would be fatal. For 24 hours, the Israeli and Zanzibarian teams worked tirelessly together to prepare tickets, visas, passports and oxygen for the baby, and by the time the Israeli team was ready to board the plane, so was this tiny baby and his mother. The baby has arrived in Israel safely and is being monitored in Wolfson Hospital's PICU. He will undergo his life-saving heart surgery ASAP. He lives together with his father and his three wives, Hamza's mother is his father's third wife. Hamza has five siblings. All together Haza's father has 20 children, little Hamza is the youngest.