Texas Fifth Grader Raises $8,000 to Provide Life-Saving Heart Surgeries

San Antonio Volunteers, Methodist Children’s Hospital and Samaritan’s Purse, Headed by Franklin Graham, Partner to Save the Lives of Two Boys from Mongolia

Suffering from a congenital heart defect since birth, Texas fifth-grader Garrett Ferguson knows firsthand what it means to receive life-saving heart treatment. When Garrett learned about the Samaritan's PurseChildren's Heart Project, he immediately took action to help kids overseas who have no chance for treatment in their own countries. 
 
"I know what it's like to be a heart patient," recalled Ferguson of his own heart problems. "Now I want to give something to help kids who have heart problems so they can have a chance to live." 
 
For six months, Garrett wrote letters to his friends and family, talked to members of his church and even placed an ad in the local newspaper. Garrett ultimately raised $8,000 to give to the Samaritan's PurseChildren's Heart Project to bring hope to kids overseas with heart defects.
 
That hope has become a reality for Choijilsuren Dorj and Baljinnayam Sukhbaatar, 16-year-old boys born with life-threatening heart defects that could not be corrected in their home country of Mongolia. With help from Garrett, the Samaritan's Purse Children's Heart Project, Methodist Children's Hospital of South Texas, Calvary Chapel of San Antonio and a local host family, these boys will soon fly home with healthy hearts and a new lease on life.

INTERVIEW AND PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:

WHAT: 
10-year-old Garrett Ferguson of Mexia, Texas, meets the two boys from Mongolia he helped save by raising money for their desperately needed heart surgeries 

WHEN: 
Friday, March 7 at 10 a.m. CT 

WHERE: 
The Methodist Children's Hospital:
 7700 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229

WHO:

  • Heart surgery recipients Choijilsuren Dorj and Baljinnayam Sukhbaatar of Mongolia

  • Texas fifth-grader Garrett Ferguson

  • Representatives from the Methodist Children's Hospital of South Texas

  • Bumtsend Tumurbaatar and Odsuren Osor (boys' mothers from Mongolia)

  • Representative from international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse

  • Nancy and Ken Hanson (San Antonio host family)

  • Representative from Calvary Church of San Antonio

  • Bayaraa Ragchaa of Mongolia (interpreter)

Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has brought more than 475 children from nine countries to North America through Children's Heart Project. The relief organization identifies children overseas who need heart surgery, matches them with hospitals and specialists willing to donate their time and services, places them with a local host family, and arranges international travel. San Antonio's Methodist Children's Hospital of South Texas donated hospital services for these two surgeries. Hospital surgeons and caregivers donated their time and expertise to make this possible. 

The boys, their mothers and an interpreter are staying with a local host family during the recovery period until they are healthy enough to travel home. 

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