Praise – Age 15 months – cameroon
Praise was born in an extremely rural town in Cameroon located in western Africa. At just one week old, Praise’s mother, Francine, noticed her baby was having difficulty breathing. With no pediatricians in town, the pair traveled 40 minutes by cab to consult with a specialist, but no medical issue was identified. Over the next six months, Praise continually experienced high fevers and was hospitalized several times with severe pneumonia. The baby’s uncle – who happened to be a professor of pathology – was visiting and noticed Praise’s accelerated heart rate and recommended a cardiac ultrasound. Francine and Praise traveled eight hours to a larger hospital where the baby was finally diagnosed with two different and devastating heart defects – Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a hole between the heart’s two lower chambers, and Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. Praise received her life-saving surgery thanks to HeartGift and is now happy and healthy!