Chain of Hope – meeting Hala, miracle child of Gaza

September 2, 2014 by
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Hala (768x1024)

Photographer Andrew Crowley, Hala’s mother Mahdeya Abdullah, Hala and me

Chain of Hope is the charity set up by British cardiologist Sir Magdi Yacoub to offer disadvantaged children across the globe access to heart surgery.  Its most recent – and probably most high profile – patient was Hala al Massri, a three year old girl with Tetralogy of Fallot, one of the most common congenital heart defects in children. Hala was suffering from a decreased blood flow to the lung, a hole between the two ventricles (or main chambers) in the heart, displacement of the aorta (the main artery) and increased thickness of the right ventricle.I met her two weeks after surgery and found her to be a delightful scamp; full of hope and life.

You can read my article in the Telegraph here

Operations carried out by Chain of Hope are very cost-effective (about £5,000 each), carried out at NHS hospitals – which work on a cost basis – and by NHS surgeons in their own time. The charity also provides teaching and training programmes while developing local infrastructure in countries such as Mozambique, Egypt, Jamaica and Ethiopia.With the guidance of the charity’s Medical Board, Chain of Hope has been saving lives for almost 15 years.

 

About the Author

Victoria Lambert has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and specialises in health and medical matters. She writes for the Telegraph, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Mail and the Mail on Sunday. She contributes to Saga, Geographical and First Eleven magazines – where she is the agony aunt.

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