A milestone was reached in October 2023 when Jeremi, a 16-month-old boy from Nicaragua, became the 30th child to receive life-altering care through ED&F Man’s support for HeartGift.
Founded in 2000, HeartGift is a U.S. charity that provides urgently needed heart surgery to children from around the world, including places where this care isn’t currently available. Through a network of partners including NGOs that provide local care and patient referrals, companies that provide support and resources, and medical facilities where specialists donate their skills, HeartGift has been able to offer life-saving treatment to more than 1000 children since its founding.
The young patients and their parents travel to the United States from around the world to undergo the procedures, with support from sponsors, volunteers, and medical staff during their journeys. The travel and medical costs average US$25,000 – beyond the means of the children’s families – which is where external support becomes critical.
One of the key hospitals where the surgeries are performed is in New Orleans, Louisiana – also home to one of our offices. ED&F Man Liquid Products supported the Louisiana chapter of HeartGift’s first surgery in 2010, and has been a regular sustainer since then, contributing via an annual commitment, additional support from ED&F Man’s ChariCo philanthropic fund, and proceeds from the annual HeartGift golf tournament and other activities. Jeremi’s surgery was the 30th procedure in New Orleans successfully funded through these efforts.
For Jeremi, that support is life-changing. Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, his doctors were surprised he had been able to survive due to the severity of his condition. This single surgery repaired Jeremi’s heart and promises him a healthy, long life with no additional medical care or medications required.
Following the successful surgery and recuperation, Jeremi and his mother attended a reception with staff at our New Orleans office (see pictures).
At the airport on the way home, Jeremi’s mother shared her relief with one of the coordinators, saying, ‘Thank you for helping save Jeremi’s life. Without HeartGift, he would have died.’
We look forward to continuing our support for HeartGift and the amazing patients it serves.