Posted on 15 May, 2013

This post is by Steve Woods, Rwanda Team Blogger.

Having a child in hospital for any reason is difficult for parents, but even more so for the parents of “heart kids”. Open heart surgery is not without it’s risks, and obviously a difficult time with lots of nervous waiting for the parents. On the post-operative cardiac recovery ward, where our patients are discharged to from their time in ICU, the relief on the faces of the parents is obvious. Imagine your child, or niece, nephew or cousin facing cardiac surgery. Then imagine if that surgery was to be performed by a team from a foreign country, who don’t speak your language, and are only in your town for a week.

While the main focus is obviously on the hearts of the children we operate on, I’d like to make a special mention of the hearts of the parents of those children.

Their hearts are big, strong and generous – forming a close bond with other families on the ward, and gradually warming to the Open Heart International team. Language barriers aside (and we do have some excellent local nurses assisting us with translating) the gratitude is plain to see on the faces of the parents.

Rwandan cardiac patient Rodrigues Dad Rwandan cardiac patient joy's mum Rwandan cardiac patient honores mum

There is Rodrigue’s Dad (L) (Rodrigue had a Pulmonary valvotomy on Saturday), Joy’s Mum (Joy had an ASD repair on Saturday) and Honore’s Mum (L) (Honore had A Double Outlet Right Ventricle repair on Saturday).

Rwandan cardiac patient Celestine Mum Rwandan cardiac patient Alice's Dad

Celestin’s Mum (L) (Celestin had his Aortic Valve replaced yesterday) and Alice’s Dad (Alice and his Dad are brick layers – click here for the story we shared yesterday)

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