The Evolution of Gift of LifeThe traditional beginning for Gift of Life was to identify and help one child at a time. We would rely upon Rotary Clubs and Districts throughout the world to identify children in need of heart surgery and then work to have them treated in the United States by one of our affiliated hospitals. This method of helping children remains an important focus of Gift of Life programs in that our volunteers are able to see the impact they can have on that one life and it motivates and inspires others to continue to support our programs.
Over the years Gift of Life programs have evolved with the assistance of Gift of Life International. We are now a well-coordinated global network which maximizes our capacity to help children in need of heart surgery. While children are still brought to the United States and elsewhere around the world for surgery, we have focused on strategically siting centers of excellence to treat children in their country or region of birth.
Through the expansion of Gift of Life efforts into the development of sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery and aftercare programs, we are now helping over 1,000 children receive treatment every year. Our programs in Uganda, El Salvador, Jamaica, Haiti and the Philippines are focused on sustaining reliable pediatric cardiac programs in these countries for years to come
Based on our 2014 survey of existing Gift of Life programs, over 18,000 children have now been treated through Gift of Life programs over the past 4 decades.