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Jun 04, 2023 / 21:31

Heartbeat Vietnam celebrates 10,000 congenital heart saves

Heartbeat Vietnam has funded life-saving heart operations for financially disadvantaged children with congenital heart defects (CHD) in Vietnam over the past 17 years.

VinaCapital Foundation's (VCF) Heartbeat Vietnam program has reached a remarkable milestone - saving 10,000 disadvantaged children with congenital heart defects (CHD) so they can grow up healthy and fulfill their dreams.

A ceremony to celebrate the 10,000 disadvantaged children with CHD who have received life-saving surgery across the country was held by VCF in Ho Chi Minh City this week.

Delegates present gifts to disadvantaged children with congenital heart defects. Photo: Viet Dung

According to Don Lam, CEO and Co-Founder of VinaCapital, VCF, with the support of partners, hospitals, doctors, and local and international donors, has significantly contributed to changing and improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable.

"Reaching the 10,000-beneficiary milestone, VCF and Heartbeat Vietnam pledge to continue our journey to find and save more children with heart defects so they can grow up healthy and contribute to Vietnam's development," said Lam.

According to the Ministry of Health, approximately 15,000 babies are born with CHD in Vietnam each year. The cost of treatment is high, and many of the patients come from disadvantaged families in rural areas who are unable to afford the cost of travel or treatment, let alone the post-operative care for their children.

"After 17 years of growth and building a strong reputation among partners and donors, VCF is determined to strengthen our program work and move forward to reach more children and families and provide them with better access to healthcare, better living conditions, and a better life overall," Lam added.

Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation, emphasized that during its 17-year journey with the mission to save and transform the lives of children with CHD across Vietnam, Heartbeat Vietnam has provided free heart surgeries for 10,000 children, post-operative care, and family grants to alleviate their families' financial burden.

 Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation, speaks at the event. Photo: Viet Dung

Heartbeat Vietnam's 10,000th child is Van Vinh, a 13-year-old Bahnar boy from the southern province of Binh Dinh. Neither Vinh nor his parents knew that he would grow up with an atrial septal defect (ASD) in his heart. He studied at a boarding school and walked two hours from home to his classes every two weeks until his heart defect became more painful and dangerous, and his father had to drive him to school. Vinh's parents are manual laborers, and his mother struggles with several illnesses, making it even more difficult for the family to afford medical care for their son.

The Rural Outreach Clinic organized by VCF and its partners in Binh Dinh Province brought this little boy to Heartbeat Vietnam, and his family was immediately instructed to apply for sponsorship and to prepare for his heart surgery in the city of Danang. With Heartbeat Vietnam's support, Vinh is now able to live a healthy life and fulfill his dream of becoming a singer.

Kivette said that the milestone of 10,000 children could never be achieved without the coordinated efforts of program team members, the Vietnamese Government, doctors and nurses, local stakeholders in 63  cities and provinces, and thousands of donors who have contributed their time, financial resources and passion for saving the lives of sick children.

The program also covers the cost of pre-and post-operative care for children with heart disease, including nutritional support, travel expenses, health screenings, and scholarships to keep them in school.