Fact Sheet: Children’s Heart Project

PURPOSE: To provide life-saving surgery for children with congenital heart defects from countries where appropriate treatment is extremely limited or nonexistent.

  • Samaritan's Purse identifies the children needing surgery; locates doctors and hospitals in North America to donate their services; provides round-trip airfare; coordinates for host families; and arranges for a medical transporter to accompany the children, their mothers and an interpreter to North America.
  • Children's Heart Project also works in partnership with visiting teams from U.S. hospitals who provide surgical care for children in their home countries. In addition to providing surgery, these teams offer training and other technical support to equip local health care systems to care for patients.
  • The project has arranged life-saving surgery for 1,200 children. As of June 2017, Samaritan's Purse has brought more than 800 children with life-threatening heart defects to North America for heart surgery not available in their home countries.
  • Sixty-four hospitals in North America have participated in Children's Heart Project, including Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent's in Indianapolis, Ind., and Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

HISTORY: While working in Bosnia in 1997, Samaritan's Purse found many children suffering from congenital heart defects who could not be adequately treated because the country's ethnic war had damaged hospitals and equipment and forced many doctors to flee. After contacting a hospital in the United States that agreed to donate medical care, Samaritan's Purse arranged for the first child to undergo what is often routine surgery in the United States. The project moved beyond Bosnia into Mongolia, Bolivia and Uganda, and continues to expand into other areas of the world where treatment is unavailable.

Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization working in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org