Healing Hearts In Uganda
It is estimated that 8,000-15,000 children are born with Congenital Heart Defects in Uganda each year: more than 2,000 of those requiring urgent surgical intervention. Due to a lack of medical resources in the country, many children are diagnosed late and deemed inoperable. Parents, many living on less than $1 a day, are told to seek surgery outside the country. However, in most situations parents lack the resources and funds to afford the travel or surgery. Paty’s Project, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, exists to provide life-saving heart surgery to children in Uganda who otherwise would not be afforded the opportunity by providing funds for surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, follow-up care, education to the child’s family and emotional support during treatment.
As a volunteer nurse in Uganda, founder Kayla Billington met a precocious two-and-a-half-year-old boy named Patrick with a potentially fatal heart condition. Unfortunately, doctors informed Kayla and Patrick’s family that the life-saving surgery he needed was not available in Uganda, and his life expectancy was short. Kayla worked hard over the next year to bring Patrick to the United States for treatment, but by the time he arrived, Patrick’s heart was too weak. He passed away in 2018. Kayla started Paty’s Project to honor Patrick and ensure children in Uganda can get live-saving heart surgery and live full, happy lives.