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Healing Hearts in Jamaica

  • June 20, 2013

Energetic, charming 11-year-old Raniel had one simple wish: to play with his friends without risking heart failure.  Today his lifelong wish has come true.  Raniel’s open heart surgery on June 20, 2012 will enable him to enjoy the normal childhood that he missed out on for so long. The Caribbean Heart Menders Association provided his surgery on a medical aid trip to Kingston, Jamaica, stocked with crucial heart medicines and supplies from AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program.

Raniel waited many years for his surgery, a procedure his family simply could not afford. Like so many children with congenital heart disease, he faced the wrenching experience of just watching while his friends ran and played freely.He was ecstatic after his life-changing surgery. Upon leaving the operating room, even before his breathing tube was removed, Raniel wrote a grateful note to his doctors and nurses: “This hospital is the best!” 

The health professionals provided care for a total of 19 patients at the Bustamante Hospital for Children during the trip, including 12 that received surgery or cardiac catheterization. But the team also focused on ensuring that such high quality care would continue long after they left by educating local doctors and nurses and delivering daily informational lectures in the Intensive Care Unit. 

Raniel with his motherThe AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program provides medicines and supplies to health professionals traveling overseas to provide volunteer medical care to people in need. Each year, AmeriCares supports over 1,000 such trips, helping people like Raniel undergo incredible transformations—able to enjoy simple pleasures such as playing with friends.Donate Now