'Healthy Heart': how to get help
In Ukraine, more than four thousand children are born with congenital heart disease every year. About half of them can be saved - if the endovascular, low-impact operation can be performed to install an occluder - an implant made of of expensive alloys.
“Unfortunately, we can’t get everything we need to conduct such operations. The equipment we use is very expensive and the government doesn’t have enough money for financial aid,” says Igor Ditkovsky, cardiovascular surgeon of the Amosov National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery, “Therefore our surgical debt grows every year. About three thousand operations are carried out by all centers annually.”
Karina is five, she is from Gorlovka. This girl was diagnosed with a heart defect a year and a half ago. As a small child she was out of breath and was losing strength with each passing day. Her parents had to carry their daughter in their arms. Only heart surgery could save Karina. Doctors recommended installing an occluder for this child.
“We didn’t have the opportunity to find money for the operation, and there was nowhere we could borrow the money,” says Olga, Karina’s mother. “The doctors said that people with such diagnoses as Karina usually don't live long”.
The family asked the Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation for help, which, through the Healthy Heart project, collaborates with leading heart surgeons in the country. The Foundation helped to purchase an occluder, and the girl was operated on at the Amosov National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery.
“We got an occluder for our child. It's a spiral coil, six millimeters in size, somewhat reminiscent of a spring from a ballpoint pen, it is so miniature”, Igor Ditkovsky, an endovascular surgeon, says. - Through a small puncture on the leg, we get to the problem place in the heart, where we set up this spiral. Most of our babies do not even understand that they are undergoing surgery. They are already running around next day and they are ready to become professional athletes”.
Thanks to the “Healthy Heart” project of the Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation, operations to install occluders have already been performed on 49 young patients. They are healthy now.
How to get help on the project "Healthy Heart"
The main goal of the project is to save children with heart disease. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation provides assistance in conducting corrective surgery to remedy the situation.. Children from infants up to 18 years old, who live in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya regions can receive help, if they are from families belonging to socially vulnerable categories:
families raising orphans, children in guardianship;
family-style children's homes; large families with three or more children under 18;
single parents or widows / widowers with children under 18;
families in difficult life circumstances (families with more than one seriously ill patient, for example, a mother with oncology and a child with cerebral palsy or two disabled people of group I, etc.);
families with total income of up to 10,000 UAH monthly (as confirmed by a tax certificate).
In order to get help, you need to call the Foundation hotline on 0 800-509-001 and leave a request.