Hearts of Joy International provides life saving heart surgery for individuals with Down syndrome where families can't afford medical care. We exist to help these children reach their full potential in life by granting them access to open heart surgery as well as offering resources, support and education to their parents on the inherent dignity and value of their child.
“We firmly believe that no matter what country you are born in or what your life circumstance is, every child deserves an equal chance at a happy and healthy life and we will never stop fighting to make that possible!”
Lauren costabile | Founder
Why Down Syndrome?
50% of children with Down syndrome are born with a congenital heart defect, a hole in their heart. Surgery is recommended to correct the defect and must be done before the age of 6 months in order to prevent life threatening damage. (National Down Syndrome Society)
In the United States, Down syndrome can be diagnosed prenatally and when the child is born they immediately receive a heart scan and if needed they are provided with access to open heart surgery within the first 6 months of their life.
Due to lack of resources and education in developing countries, children with Down syndrome are not given the same opportunities or access to a heart scan, let alone open heart surgery. Some families are unaware that their child has Down syndrome, therefore they do not seek medical care. Most families are living in extreme poverty and simply cannot afford the medical treatment and surgery to repair the hole. As a result, these children are dying because they are not getting the most basic medical care. This is incredibly preventable.
That's where we come in!
We provide funding for the medical treatment of children with Down syndrome, granting them access to life changing open heart surgery.