A routine weigh-in helped diagnose a heart defect and ultimately save the life of an infant in a HOPE community health clinic in Nagan Raya.
Padli, a Project HOPE field coordinator, helps conduct monthly weigh-ins of children at community health clinics in Nagan Raya. At a routine weigh-in, Padli examined Zakaria, a young child very underweight for his age. He also noticed that Zakaria was having difficulty breathing and his extremities were blue. Padli immediately referred the baby to a local pediatrician.
The baby was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. A surgeon agreed to perform the lifesaving operation on little Zakaria, free of charge, but the nearest hospital with pediatric cardiology capabilities was a long distance from Zakaria’s home. Zakaria’s parents did not have the $5,000 needed to pay for transportation to the hospital and the expense of medicines and living costs associated with their child’s stay in the hospital.
But the Project HOPE team was unwilling to let young Zakaria go untreated. In partnership with the local health center doctor, the team initiated a fundraising campaign to get Zakaria and his parents to the hospital. Project HOPE employees contributed 25 percent of the needed money themselves. On December 11, 2008, doctors operated on Zakaria. He is recovering well, gaining weight and playing happily. “The Project HOPE staff and Nagan Raya District Health Office are very happy that we were able to help save Zakaria’s life,” said Dr. Nasar Sheldon, Project HOPE’s Country Director.