International Perfusion Association


Empower a Heart, Save a Life: The Honduras Open Heart Surgery Initiative

In the heart of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a transformative global health initiative has been thriving since 2019. We’re not just a program; we’re a beacon of hope for 10 million Hondurans. Our mission? To empower local healthcare heroes with the skills to perform life-saving open heart surgeries, providing a lifeline to those battling rheumatic heart disease and collagen disorders. This isn’t just a training program; it’s the only opportunity for adult and pediatric heart surgery in a nation where such care is desperately needed.

Imagine the challenge: In Honduras, where the average income is just $400 a month, patients requiring critical heart surgeries like mitral valve replacements face staggering costs of around $10,000. This amount includes everything from the valve itself to essential surgical supplies, often expired or re-sterilized due to financial constraints. This harsh reality places lifesaving surgery out of reach for most, leaving nine out of ten in dire need without a chance for survival.

The impact? Far-reaching and devastating. Most patients are young, the very individuals who support their families, making the economic and emotional toll immeasurable. Yet, there’s a flip side: the limited number of procedures performed has hampered the expertise development of our dedicated healthcare teams. This cycle of insufficient training and experience can lead to suboptimal outcomes, affecting team morale and political support for these crucial efforts.

2024 marks a milestone: our most ambitious mission yet, scheduled for May 11-28. For the first time, Duke and Harvard’s elite medical teams will join forces, aiming to operate on numerous adult and pediatric patients. But as always, economic barriers loom large. Beyond travel and lodging for our team, we face the ongoing need to procure additional equipment and materials locally. Our dream? To provide home-monitoring devices for INR, crucial for patients with mechanical prosthetic implants – a majority in our case.

This is where you come in. Every contribution, big or small, fuels this growing movement. Together, we can break down barriers, build expertise, and most importantly, save lives. Join us in this noble cause: Empower a heart, save a life. Your support isn’t just a donation; it’s a heartbeat for Honduras.

Official websites:

Duke Health:

International Perfusion Association:

Online Donation Link: Make Donation – International Perfusion Association

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