This children's nonprofit takes saving lives to heart

Save a Child's Heart has provided life-saving treatments to more than 4,500 kids from 58 countries.

A baby girl named Nghi was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in January 2000. Doctors diagnosed her with an untreatable heart defect and gave her parents very little hope for survival.

But that wasn't the final word for Nghi's parents. They began scouring the Internet, looking for other options, anything to save their daughter. When she was 1 year old, the family traveled to Israel, where doctors performed a series of life-saving surgeries to repair Nghi's heart. She spent eight months there recovering and had one more catheterization five years later.

Today, she's a healthy 15-year-old, starting high school, playing piano, painting and hanging out with friends.

Nghi's story is one of many successes to come out of Save a Child's Heart (SACH). The Israel-based nonprofit aims to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries. Altogether, they've saved more than 4,500 kids from 58 countries around the world, and the number is growing each month.

And now, the nonprofit has earned some well-deserved recognition. Save a Child's Heart is the recipient of the 2018 United Nations Population Award. The award, founded in 1981, recognizes outstanding achievements in population and health.

SACH's mission is to improve the health and welfare of all children, regardless of the child's nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation. In addition to providing life-saving treatment for children at the Wolfson Medical Center in Israel, the group provides medical training to providers around the world in all facets of pediatric cardiac care and sends medical teams to areas in need to diagnose and treat young patients.

On receiving the U.N. Population Award, executive director Simon Fisher said his team is honored. He also said the latest recipients of SACH's services – a child from Myanmar and a child from Fiji, representing the 57th and 58th countries SACH serves – are invited to Israel this summer.

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This children's nonprofit takes saving lives to heart
Israel-based Save a Child's Heart has provided life-saving treatments to more than 4,500 kids from 58 countries.