In November 2019, Save a Child’s Heart traveled to Ethiopia for a mission to the Children’s Cardiac Center in Addis Ababa.
The Children’s Cardiac Center is the only clinic of its kind serving a population of 109 million people. During the week-long mission, the volunteer medical team conducted 22 catheterizations, 9 open heart surgeries, and screened more than 100 children.
One of the children who underwent a life-saving catheterization was Bemnet. Bemnet was diagnosed at the age of two months old with pulmonary stenosis, a condition characterized by obstruction to blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.
For the past year we have been coming to the hospital every few weeks, very worried about what will happen to Bemnet. And today we are told that there is hope and she will undergo a lifesaving catheterization this week. I am so happy and grateful. - Bemnet's Father
Audiences around the world followed Bemnet’s story from hospitalization and recovery to her discharge from the hospital and life back at home.
We have a means to free children from these diseases they treat in the Western world. - Dr. Yayu Mekonnen, SACH-trainee in pediatric cardiac surgery currently working at the Children’s Cardiac Center in Addis Ababa
Following her discharge, members of SACH US, who had attended the mission, also had the opportunity to travel to the outskirts of Addis Ababa to meet Bemnet and her family.
There, they were welcomed with a traditional Ethiopian meal and unending expressions of thanks by Bemnet’s parents and grandmother. Bemnet’s parents shared that her recovery is going well.