Roger and his family live in the outskirts of the rural town of Cliza in the high valleys of Cochabamba. Roger, who is now seven years old, grew up with frequent colds and high fevers. His parents did not understand why he often seemed out of breath and unable to run around and play with his five siblings. Roger was often exhausted or sick. At school he could not participate in physical education activities or engage in games with other children that required physical effort. His symptoms were growing in intensity and frequency.

About nine months ago, Roger was diagnosed with cardiac problems by a pediatrician at the Cliza hospital. This doctor advised Roger’s parents to travel to Cochabamba to have a pediatric cardiologist examine the boy.

Dr. Gabriel Echazú, from Hospital Belga, diagnosed Roger with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a congenital heart defect that in some cases requires open heart surgery. An angiography determined that Roger’s VSD was unusually large, and that the hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of his heart would require surgery for him to have a normal life.

Roger’s father works as an independent construction worker. Roger’s mom takes care of the five small children. The family does not have health insurance; they have always relied on the public hospital in Cliza when they have needed medical attention. Yet this time Roger needed specialized care that the family was unable to afford.

Upon learning of Puente de Solidaridad, Roger’s mom asked the organization for help: In the name of God, we ask you to help us so our son can be well.

With the support of Dharma Social Projects, Roger’s surgery was performed on June 6th. He was discharged 20 days later and is expected to make a full recovery.

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