Kinley: A Heart That Can’t Wait
For baby Kinley, every day matters. She is in a short window of time when a complicated heart surgery could save her life. If too much time passes, too many days go by without repairing her heart defect, she will most likely not survive.
We receive pleas almost daily from worried parents in Uganda who are desperate to find help for their children with complex heart conditions. Unfortunately, these life-saving, high-risk surgeries cannot occur in-country, so parents are told that their only option is to travel overseas.
In 2018, we began sending small groups of little heart patients from Uganda to India for these complicated surgeries. Several months of planning are usually needed to raise the funds needed to cover their operations and get a child overseas for medical care.
But Baby Kinley’s need for surgery has become so incredibly urgent that we plan to rush her to India this weekend. Her tiny heart cannot wait.
Kinley’s mother recounts having a normal healthy, night-time delivery of her baby girl in early January. They were discharged the morning after her birth, beaming and overjoyed. Her three older siblings had been awaiting the arrival of their baby sister.
The joy of welcoming a newborn family member sadly lasted just a few hours. During her first day at home, Kinley’s temperature started rising, and she became agitated, crying inconsolably. Before she could spend her first night at home, her parents rushed her back to the hospital.
Less than 24 hours after giving birth, her mother was informed that her newborn baby had a heart condition. Suddenly, the delightful bliss of welcoming an infant daughter into the family was shattered.
An examination revealed that Kinley was suffering from a respiratory problem and an infection. The family was referred to the Uganda Heart Institute, the country’s only heart hospital, for a confirmatory echocardiogram. They got their baby girl there as quickly as possible, no doubt fearing what they might be told.
The devasting diagnosis of a life-threatening heart defect, known as transposition of great arteries (TGA), soon followed. With this condition, the aorta is connected to the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery is connected to the left ventricle. This is the exact opposite of a normal heart’s anatomy. (See image here.)
A cardiologist informed Kinley’s parents that their only option for the complicated surgery she needs was to take her overseas. It must have felt like another gut-punch. As they were already struggling to make ends meet, paying for such an expensive trip was far beyond their financial means.
Kinley’s mother is heartbroken, and her tears have continued to fall. Her daughter feeds and sleeps well, but as she cuddles and cares for her, she knows that her window of opportunity for successful surgery is closing. And in her baby’s chest is a tiny heart trying desperately to keep beating.
With an abundance of hope, we are sending Kinley to India for heart surgery. Her brave mother will travel far beyond the borders of both their country and her comfort zone to give her little daughter a chance at life. She will be Love Without Boundaries’ youngest baby ever to travel for heart surgery.
Would you consider showing this precious baby girl and her anxious family some love this Valentine’s Day weekend? In the next two days, we hope to raise all the funds needed for her life-saving emergency surgery.
Will you share your heart by helping offset the $15,000 in travel and medical costs for Kinley’s heart? LWB community, will you join us in rallying around this family with donations, thoughts, and prayers?