Texas volunteers reflect on HeartGift medical mission trip to Bolivia to heal children’s hearts

An all-volunteer medical mission team, made up of 30 people, traveled over 4,000 miles to Bolivia to save children with congenital heart defects. Of the team, 17 volunteers were from the Houston area, and 13 of those were from Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Saul Flores, an Intensivist with Texas Children’s Hospital, and April Narvaez, a CICU Nurse with Texas Children’s Hospital, shared their story on KPRC 2 News Today at 10. You can watch their entire interview above.

Each year, one million babies around the world are born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) and more than 90% live in countries – like Bolivia - where specialized pediatric cardiac care is scarce or nonexistent. In industrialized countries such as the United States, corrective surgery is accessible and provided to those in need, regardless of financial capacity or geographic location. To help address this disparity around the world, HeartGift coordinated and fully-funded a medical mission trip to Bolivia earlier this month.

In August 2023, the medical mission team left for Bolivia. During the 10-day medical mission trip, they provided free, life-saving open heart surgeries to 26 young Bolivian children ages three months to 13 years old.

You can learn more about HeartGift on their website.