We mend hearts, regardless of religion, gender or nationality
Save a Child’s Heart is an international non-profit organization with the mission of improving the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries and creating centers of competence in these countries. Save a Child’s Heart's goal is to improve the health and welfare of all children, regardless of the child's religion, gender or nationality.
Save a Child’s Heart was founded in 1995 at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, and holds preoperative and follow up cardiology clinics in Israel and abroad on a weekly basis, offers a comprehensive training program within Israel for doctors and nurses from developing countries and leads surgical and teaching missions to partner countries.
To date, Save a Child's Heart has saved the lives of more than 5,000 children from 59 countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and throughout the Middle East and trained more than 120 medical team members from these countries.
Save a Child's Heart is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious United Nations Population Award and holds special consultative status granted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC).Read more
A patient’s drawing became the inspiration behind the Save a Child’s Heart logo.
Shortly after Save a Child’s Heart began, a four-year old girl named Katya arrived from Moldova with very serious heart defects. She was near death and her body was deep blue due to the lack of oxygen. Some five months and four highly complicated surgeries later, Katya was ready to go home. Before she left, she drew a picture of a hand holding a little girl with a heart. When asked to explain, she told her doctor:
“I had a dream, there were many colors over my bed, then a very big hand came in the middle of the night. We flew to a far-off country and they gave me a new heart, and I could run and dance.” – Katya
Dr. Ami Cohen
Save a Child's Heart exists today because of the vision, passion, and boundless energy of the late Dr. Amram "Ami" Cohen, an excellent surgeon, an inspiring leader and a warm and caring person.
Ami immigrated to Israel from the United States in 1992. He joined the staff of the Wolfson Medical Center and served as the Deputy Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and Head of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, under the direction and mentorship of Prof. Arieh Schachner, the then head of the cardiothoracic department.
Save a Child’s Heart came into being in 1995 when an Ethiopian doctor contacted Dr. Cohen after being referred to him by a mutual friend at the University of Massachusetts. He asked for Dr. Cohen’s help with two children in desperate need of heart surgery and Dr. Cohen received the approval and support of Prof. Schachner to commence with this project.
Ami died in a tragic accident while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August of 2001. The goals that he lived for are being carried on by the organization he so successfully created. This is a most fitting memorial to his uniquely productive life.
“I am convinced that for the vast majority of people who chose cardio- thoracic surgery as a profession, idealism was initially a strong factor. For those of you who are reading this and just starting out, hold fast to your ‘day after-vision’ because, if it fades, despite all the skills acquired, there will be something missing. For those who are searching, join us and together let us make the network to help children with heart disease globally big enough to be equal to the task. There is work for everybody. There are no dollars and cents in it, but it is worth a fortune.”
– Dr. Amram Cohen
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