Jack “Be”

Rwanda

One-year-old Jack “Be” takes his first steps in the Save a Child’s Heart Children’s Home after a successful surgery in Israel

READ STORY

Jack is a one-year-old boy from Kigali, Rwanda. Jack and his parents live in a house with two additional relatives, who also help out in taking care of Jack. Jack likes to eat bananas and yogurt and is happiest when listening to music, singing, and dancing. 

In his first week of life, Jack’s mother noticed he was not eating as much as he should. She took the 90-minute bus ride back to the hospital, where Jack was diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). PDA occurs when the opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart present in utero does not close after birth, causing extra blood to be pumped from the aorta into the pulmonary arteries and the lungs. 

Doctors referred Jack to Save a Child’s Heart, which brought him and his mother to Israel to close the hole in his heart and save his life. In November, 2021 he underwent life-saving heart surgery at Wolfson Medical Center.

When Jack “Be” first came to the Children’s Home, he wasn’t able to walk, was very thin, and didn’t smile or play. After his surgery, he took his first steps of his life in the Children’s Home, and his mother cried with tears of joy. After he walked, he began running around and was unstoppable, playing with all the kids.

Prior to Jack's procedure, his mother shared: "Although I am nervous about his surgery, I know this is normal and I try not to think about it too much. Overall, I have a very good feeling about him getting surgery. The communication at the hospital is good and the people there and at the Save a Child’s Heart Children’s Home are very kind. We are so thankful for everything SACH has done for us." 

Jack recovered at the Children's Home where he learned to walk and run around with his new friends. He returned home to his family in Rwanda in March, 2022 with a healthy heart. The Save a Child’s Heart team is proud to have given Jack a new lease on life.