The Global Crisis.
With approximately 1.3 million children born each year having a heart defect and knowing that 93% do not have access to cardiac care, our goal is to make this lifesaving care available to children everywhere.
Our Legacy Programs.
Uganda and El Salvador
Legacy Programs are Core Programs which have succeeded and now have support from the local hospital and government, have a fully trained team and a dedicated facility with state-of-the-art equipment solely for program use.
Our Core Programs.
Jamaica and Romania
In 2009, the creation of Core Programs maximized our capacity to treat more children each year by developing sustainable pediatric cardiac programs and centers of excellence in select emerging countries.
Rotary and Our Global Impact.
Gift of Life is a Rotarian-based non-profit organization whose initiatives are supported by 286 Rotary Clubs and 63 Rotary Districts around the world. Rotary Global Grants are a major funding source and help to maximize our impact in providing care to children with heart disease throughout the world.
Our 36,000th Heart Healed.
In October 2019, Abel from Bolivia was the 36,000th child to have his heart healed through our global network of caring. Exactly 44 years earlier, the first-ever GOL recipient from Uganda had her heart healed.
Impact of your donation
|$50||Could provide regular exams following surgery|
|$100||Could provide medicines needed to ensure a healthy recovery|
|$250||Could provide 6 months of nutritional assistance prior to surgery|
|$500||Could provide one year of nutritional assistance following surgery|
Our MissionHealing Little Hearts Around the World
Our mission is to provide lifesaving cardiac treatment to children in need from developing countries regardless of gender, creed, or national origin. Our goal is to develop sustainable pediatric cardiac programs by implementing screening, surgical and training missions which are supported by autonomous Gift of Life programs, Rotary Global Grants and generous donors from around the world.
News. Updates on Hearts Being Healed Around the World
Read the latest news from Gift of Life Affiliated Programs around the world regarding their impact as they work to heal more little hearts in their region.
Program of the Month
Gift of Life Hungary was created in 2009 when Chairman, Gabor Karsai travelled to Hungary with Gift of Life International Founder, Robbie Donno to see the need for children with heart disease in Eastern Europe. Since then, children from Hungary and surrounding countries with heart disease have been treated for their heart ailments. Most recently, Gift of Life Hungary partnered a Rotary Global Grant which provided care to 24 children from Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. These children received their lifesaving heart surgeries at the Cardiology Center in Szeged, Hungary which is known to provide World-Class Pediatric Cardiac Care. In addition to healing these little hearts, doctors from these countries were invited to Szeged to receiving training in the diagnosis and treatment of children with heart disease. Past Rotary International President Ian Riseley visited Hungary and was introduced to Gift of Life where he witnessed the impact of the partnership between the Rotary and Gift of Life Global Networks. We congratulate Gift of Life Hungary on their continuous efforts to heal little hearts in Eastern Europe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RHG92n3NVM
Story of the Month
Our entire world has changed dramatically over the past month as we struggle to cope with and combat the impact of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). We are excited to share an inspirational story about a medical team from the US and Uganda who bonded together during this uncertain time to treat patients with heart disease and to continue building a sustainable heart surgery program in Uganda. Dr. Craig Sable from Children’s National Hospital arrived in Kampala, Uganda on March 8th, 2020 with four CICU nurses ready to begin a week-long training mission with 8 cases scheduled (6 of them with Rheumatic Heart Disease). The remainder of the training team was due to arrive a few days later. Dr. Sable and the nursing team met with UHI staff on Monday, March 9th to deliver critical supplies, review clinical data for scheduled patients, develop plans for transport, housing, and meals for patients coming from distant locations, and to finalize staffing plans for the surgical mission the following week. Over the next 72 hours the world changed dramatically. COVID-19 cases in the US soared from a few hundred to several thousand. Uganda (which had no confirmed cases at the time) closed its borders to US citizens, making it impossible for the rest of the team to travel to Uganda, and a travel ban implemented by the United States threatened to make it difficult for the five team members already in Uganda to return home. The team in Uganda faced a difficult challenge. Staying for a second week could jeopardize the team’s return to the US and compromise the team’s ability to work after their return; however, patients and families who had been waiting for heart surgery for months or years, knowing this might be their only chance, were counting on the surgery mission to go forward. After careful consultation with the UHI team, Dr. Sable decided that the operations for the sickest patients must continue as planned – but with the local team providing all of the care. Dr. Sable and his Ugandan colleagues knew the local team was ready to step up and take on this volume and complexity of patients. What ensued over the week of March 16 – 19, was not only life-saving for five Ugandans with end stage heart disease, but was also an inflection point for expanded cardiac surgical services at UHI which will help thousands of other patients in the future. The five patients shown in the photo had successful open-heart surgery and are all doing well, either on their way to recovery or already discharged to their communities, where they will, for the first time in memory, be able to play, exercise and go to school or work. Our sincere thanks to Dr. Craig Sable and the team at the Uganda Heart Institute for this inspiration and dedication to healing more hearts in Uganda.
Humanized Care for Medical Staff, Families and Children
Compassionate Patient and Family-Centered Care
Caring for children in a medical setting is best practiced with the collaboration of all members of the team, including families, doctors, nurses, occupational, respiratory and physical therapist, and other medical staff. For all, it is the provision of sensitive and empathic child and family services. These can create safety and comfort as children are separated from families, encounter medical procedures, and stay in strange environments.
In this collaborative style of treatment, it is equally important that staff are also helped to develop self-care methods. This training enables them to understand and relieve the emotional stresses that arise for them in their settings, and to more effectively identify and support some of the emotional and social needs of the families and children in their care. Mindfulness, Meditation, Guided Visualization for stress reduction, Coherent Breathing, and music are some of the strategies introduced and practiced.
For additional information, please watch this video.