A young boy receives the care he needs through the collaboration of Save a Child’s Heart and our partners in Tanzania.

David is a seven-year-old boy currently in the first grade and his favorite subject is math. The family lives in Morogoro, a five-hour journey by bus to Dar es Salaam, which is the only city in Tanzania with a cardiac center, the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI), a Save a Child’s Heart partner site.

David came to Israel with his mother, Grace, for repair of his heart condition, tricuspid regurgitation (TR). He was diagnosed with TR at birth and went on to suffer symptoms of heart disease including breathlessness and seizures. He had a stroke at four months old, immobilizing his right arm. 

TR is a type of congenital heart defect in which the tricuspid valve does not close tightly enough. As the right ventricle contracts to pump blood toward the lungs, some blood leaks backward into the right atrium, increasing the volume of blood in the atrium.

David was initially operated on at the JKCI in 2017. In need of a second surgery, he was screened by a visiting Save a Child’s Heart mission to the country in January 2020 and brought to Israel in December of the same year. Grace expressed her happiness about being in Israel and her gratitude for the opportunity to save her son’s life.

David underwent life-saving heart surgery in February, 2021, and recuperated at the Save a Child’s Heart Children’s Home. Now back in Tanzania, David will continue to follow up with the local Save a Child’s Heart-trained team and when Save a Child’s Heart medical missions visit the country.