50 kids to get new life through Golden Heart Initiative


The Initiative focused on children from conflict zones and underprivileged backgrounds, spanning cultural and geographical boundaries…reports Asian Lite News

Through the Golden Heart Initiative, 50 children with complex congenital heart diseases will be given the opportunity for a new life. The ‘Golden Heart Initiative’ is a global philanthropic mission launched on January 1, 2024, by Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, a healthcare visionary and the Founder and Chairman of Burjeel Holdings

The Initiative focused on children from conflict zones and underprivileged backgrounds, spanning cultural and geographical boundaries.

Spearheaded by experts, the surgeries were performed at public and private hospitals in Tunisia, Egypt, and India. Children from conflict zones such as Senegal, Libya, and Tunisia, and underprivileged families from Egypt and India were the beneficiaries of the Initiative that concluded within three months. Navigating stringent travel restrictions posed challenges in bringing the children from conflict zones to hospitals for their much-needed surgeries. Special travel permissions had to be obtained through various agencies to support these families. In India, the Initiative collaborated with government departments to offer high-cost life-saving surgeries that are not covered under existing schemes.

Children aged two months and upward with complex congenital heart diseases such as severe aortic stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve narrows disrupting the normal flow of blood; Tetralogy of Fallot, a condition that affects normal blood flow through the heart; and atrioventricular (AV) canal defect, where a hole in the wall separates the heart’s chambers causing problems with the heart valves, were some of the Initiative’s recipients.

Commenting on the project, Dr. Tarig Ali Elhassan, a renowned cardiac surgeon who headed the medical assessment board of the Initiative, said, “We feel proud to support these children in the time of their need with world-class treatment. After announcing the Initiative, we received numerous requests from different parts of the world. We thoroughly reviewed each medical record and shortlisted the candidates based on the severity of their condition and the guidelines of the Initiative. Later, we brought together global experts in the field to perform the surgeries. We also made arrangements to ease transportation challenges. Everything was done within three months, which we consider a great feat.”

The Golden Heart Initiative turned out to be a unique opportunity for these children to achieve their dreams of leading a fruitful life. Most of them were unable to undergo the surgery earlier due to several reasons such as high expense and lack of proper facilities.

On the impact of the programme, Dr. Shamsheer said, “It fills our hearts to see these children taking baby steps into their healthier lives through the Golden Heart Initiative. When we launched the Initiative, it received a good response from all quarters. Executing this mission was not an easy task. With utmost devotion, our doctors and other staff worked towards the healing of these little ones. The Initiative would not have succeeded without their hard work and the families that trusted us. We hope this tribute to Mr. Yusuffali will inspire these little ones to dream big.”

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