March 16, 2023

Save A Child's Heart Welcomes Its 68th Country

Wilma is a sweet and curious six-year-old girl from Libreville, Gabon, the 68th country where Save a Child’s Heart has provided life-saving treatment. Wilma is one of four siblings. She has 3 brothers, making her the only girl of the family. Wilma’s father, Wilfred, is an engineer and her mother, Nili, is a housewife.  Back in Gabon, Wilma just started the first grade where she has a lot of friends and loves art class.

When Wilma was eight months old, she had a lot of chest pain and the recurring feeling of breathlessness, so her mother took her to a doctor to be checked. Wilma was eventually diagnosed with a congenital heart disease called pulmonary stenosis (PS). PS is a congenital condition in which the pulmonary valve, and the valve that lets blood flow from the heart to the lungs via the pulmonary artery, is narrowed and consequently slows the flow of blood. This causes the lower right chamber of the heart (ventricle) to work harder and thicken over time. 

Wilma travelled to Israel this month with her mother to receive the pediatric cardiac care she could not receive back home. On March 13, 2023, Wilma underwent a life-saving cardiac catheterization at the Ida Cabakoff IPCC at Wolfson Hospital. 

Nili, Wilma’s mom tells us “like any mom, I was scared and told myself there is a possibility her heart could stop at any moment. Everytime she had a terrible cough, I was nervous it would stop. Once we found out about the opportunity in Israel, I was relieved for my daughter. I knew she has a chance to live a normal life like her brothers. I want to thank everyone who put so much effort to bring us here. The first time we were supposed to come to Israel, I got malaria and we couldn’t come until I was better. I was nervous I ruined my only daughter’s chance at a better life. It took me a few weeks to recover and then SACH was able to get us new flight tickets. I am grateful for their patience and their thoughtful team and professional treatment.”

Wilma and her siblings at home in Gabon