Traver Readies for Heart Surgery Thanks to Gift of Life & You!
Written By: Adam Pick, Patient Advocate, Author & Website Founder
Published: January 8, 2021
To keep 2021 going in the right direction, I have some joyful news to share with the HeartValveSurgery.com community.
Thanks to your extraordinary support, we have partnered with Gift of Life International to sponsor the heart surgery of little Traver (shown above).
Little Traver’s Story
Traver was born in a small, remote village of Uganda. With five older siblings, Traver’s parents knew something was wrong. At just 2 months old, Traver developed body weakness with recurrent episodes of pneumonia and occasional cough.
Traver went to a local hospital numerous times but never received an accurate diagnosis. This left Traver constantly ill and unable to thrive as a baby and toddler.
Traver With His Family in Uganda
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Traver was referred to the Uganda Heart Institute in Kampala, Uganda. There, Traver received a diagnosis of Tetralogy of Fallot with severe infundibular stenosis and right pulmonary artery branch stenosis.
Unfortunately, the Uganda Heart Institute did not have the medical expertise to treat Traver’s complex heart condition. In addition, Traver’s parents – Ategeka Christopher and Kirungi Rosemary who are farmers that make $3 dollars per day in Kyankuta Village – did not have the resources to send Traver to a foreign cardiac center.
Needless to say, Traver needed help.
Gift of Life Was Prepared to Help Traver, But…
As you may know, I am a huge fan of Gift of Life International. This amazing, non-profit organization has helped more than 38,000 children from 80 countries across 5 continents receive treatment for heart disease.
The mission of Gift of Life International is to provide lifesaving cardiac treatment to children in need from developing countries regardless of gender, creed, or national origin. Their goal is to develop sustainable pediatric cardiac programs by implementing screening, surgical and training missions which are supported by autonomous Gift of Life programs, Rotary Global Grants and generous donors from around the world.
Here is to video to help you learn more about Gift of Life International.
After learning about Traver’s urgent need for heart surgery, the Gift of Life was ready to help.
The only thing Gift of Life needed was a co-sponsor for Traver’s surgery.
Our Community Gets Involved
You guessed it…
You and all the wonderful patients, family members, friends, doctors, physician assistants, nurses, hospitals, researchers and medical companies in the HeartValveSurgery.com community just co-sponsored Traver’s heart surgery.
What Are The Next Steps For Traver’s Heart Surgery?
Rob Raylman, the Chief Executive Officer of Gift of Life International, wasted no time mobilizing the logistics for Traver’s surgery. According to Rob, here are the next steps:
- Traver will fly from Uganda to Israel for the heart surgery. Traver will be accompanied by Akwatampora Irene, his 30-year old sister (shown below).
- The Gift of Life team is now working on getting Traver’s passport, visa and travel arrangements so that he can travel to Israel in mid-January.
- It is expected that Traver will be in Israel for 4 to 6 weeks.
- Traver’s exact surgery date and medical team are not known yet.
Akwatampora Irene (Traver’s Sister)
Stay Tuned For More Traver Updates!
As I shared in this post about my 15th anniversary from heart surgery, I am so honored and thankful to be a part of the HeartValveSurgery.com community.
Your support of this community has empowered us to help Traver and partner with Gift of Life again. You might remember that we co-sponsored the heart surgery of Victor Saravia from El Salvador a few years ago.
To get the next update about Traver’s journey to a healthy heart, you can subscribe to my free newsletter at this link.
Again, thank you!!!
Keep on tickin!!!