Life was a challenge for Jhohan from the start. The third child in a family struggling economically, Jhohan presented severe health problems from birth. He could not breathe without a 24-hour oxygen supply. His young parents sought a loan to cover medical bills. However, the banks would not offer credit to his hardworking father because his income as a self-made locksmith is unpredictable.

Faced with these challenges, Jhohan’s parents sought support from Solidarity Bridge’s office in Cochabamba. The foundation’s social worker visited the rented room where the family of five resides and saw that Jhohan was desperately in need of care. Dr. Carlos Brockmann of the Belga Hospital, a hospital that partners with Dharma Trading’s Social Projects, examined Jhohan and recommended immediate emergency surgery.

Jhohan’s case was not easy. He suffered multiple conditions, including a rare congenital heart defect known as D-TGA (dextro-transposition of the great arteries). In babies like Jhohan, the two main arteries carrying blood of the heart are reversed. The surgeon used the extracorporeal heart pump, known as the heart-lung machine, so that baby could survive as the arteries were transposed.

Because this tiny child was so young, recovery required careful and lengthy monitoring in the intensive care unit, another expense that the family could not afford. Thanks to the support from Dharma, Solidarity Bridge and the hospital itself, Jhohan has a life ahead.

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