One step closer, to saving more lives

Since the beginning, the purpose of our Spirit of Love program has been very clear: to achieve the accreditation of a heart program in the state to have the ability to assist more children with congenital heart defects in B.C.S. throughout the whole year and not only during the surgical missions. Today we are proud to announce that we are definitely going in the right direction. Thanks to recent recruitment, Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz has a complete medical team ready to perform open heart surgeries that give a chance to children with congenital heart defects that previously had no hope.

This local medical team has been trained for 4 years and 7 open heart surgery rounds led by Dr. James Hammel and his team of doctors and nurses from Omaha’s Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. Overall, there have been in La Paz a total of 81 surgeries in 78 Southern Baja children. The US team has worked up close with the Mexican team in each surgery, giving them intensive training, that will continue in years to come. Now the local team begins to show the results of all this training after 3 successful surgeries.

Bryan Alejandro img_5610was the first child operated 100% by the local medical team of the Secretary of Health of Baja California Sur. This newborn of just 11 days received a correction in his aorta on August 9, 2016. His surgery was urgent, if not for the presence of this medical team, little Bryan would have not survived a transfer to another hospital to receive his much-needed surgery.

“We are very happy with all the medical team at the hospital, they were attentive and friendly and above all have provided excellent medical care, they have assisted Bryan and have given him the chance to live like any child. At first we were nervous, we feared losing him, but fortunately Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz has an excellent medical team, to whom we owe the life of Bryan. Thanks to all who somehow contributed to give a new heart to my baby.”

– Martín, Bryan’s dad



A week later, the local medical team saved the life of another patient, Angel Santiago. On August 17, 2016, Angel of only 6 months of age was the second surgical patient who had his congenital heart defect successfully fixed. Angel’s parents say that their medical service would have taken months to assist him, possibly worsening the condition of their baby.

“As I arrived with Dr. Lacayo, I felt very safe and never doubted that my son was in good hands, I didn’t meet Dr. Mar, because I was taking care of my other children when the surgery happened, but my wife says that he is a very friendly doctor with a very large set of wings, an angel for my Angel. Dr. Lacayo was the one who was responsible for coordinating everything so that my baby had this surgery. Thank you very much to all those who with their help, knowledge, and words of encouragement have helped Angel to be alive today and have a normal future as any other child.”

– Jorge Otoniel, Angel’s dad



Following this great inertia, the team was encouraged to perform the third surgery a week later. Angel Emanuel received an opportunity to live on August 24, 2016. Since birth, this boy was diagnosed with a murmur. After 4 months of anguish their parents received great news: they wouldn’t have to wait any longer to see their child healthy.

“When we got the diagnosis, we were very afraid, more for everything we had been through, however the doctors calmed us from the beginning, made our fear become hope. During preparations and the hours of surgery we were still nervous, we did not know how to feel, joy because our baby was receiving an opportunity to live, but anxiety and fear at the same time. Thanks to God and the doctors, Angel’s surgery was a success and now he has the opportunity to grow and live.”

– Ruth, Emanuel’s mom


The cardiovascular surgeon Raúl Mar Chavira; the pediatric interventional cardiologist, Ada Lila Lacayo Molina; the cardiovascular anesthesiologist, Norely Camacho Quiroa; the neonatologist Adriana Nallely Guzmán Arteaga, the first-year resident of cardiovascular surgery, Elvira León; surgical nurse, Clemente Vizcarra Betancourt, the perfusionist José Jorge Pérez Páez, and circulating nurse Edgar Tsui,  in addition to the commitment of the medical director of the institution, Miguel Liera Bañuelos, the head of Pediatrics, Zazil Flores Aldape and the doctor coordinator of the Pediatric Cardiology Program, Rogelio Ortiz Batanero are the heroes who have so far saved the lives of these 3 children and seek to help more.

Besides their work in the Seguro Popular, Dr. Raul Chavira and Dr. Rogelio Ortiz Batanero also perform surgeries at ISSSTE. Recently they received from this institution a recognition called “Lic. Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada C. Talent and Innovation Institutional Second Issue” for this project which they titled “Heart Surgery in children and adolescents.”

Congratulations to this medical team for their great work! This achievement represents one more step to achieve the much sought accreditation of the cardiology program to save the lives of more Southern Baja children. A big thank you also to all donors and LCCF partners that make it possible to save lives in a sustainable manner and thus give a better quality of life to all children with congenital heart defects in B.C.S. We are anxious to see these 3 new champions running!

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