This year, Christmas has come a little early for Brandy Pearson and her mother Bianca. When Brandy was a baby, doctors in her home country of the Philippines predicted she wouldn’t live to see her second birthday. The little girl was born with congenital heart disease (CHD), a condition that affects approximately 1 in 100 children each year. In the United States, the survival rates for children born with CHD are high, but the outcome can be dire for children in other countries.
Holding Out Hope
Despite Brandy’s prognosis, her mother refused to give up. This past May, Bianca Pearson reached out to HeartGift, an Austin nonprofit that partners with Dell Children’s Medical Center to offer children from all over the world life-saving heart surgery.
HeartGift brought Brandy and her mother to Austin in November, where doctors and surgeons like Dr. Camille Hancock Friesen of Dell Children’s Regional Heart Center and Dr. Stuart Rowe of Dell Children’s Medical Center volunteered their time, devoting themselves to repairing the toddler’s heart. Brandy’s surgery marks the 300th heart surgery donated by HeartGift and Dell Children’s, and now the 3-year-old has a message for those who pitched in to give her the greatest gift of all this holiday season:
“Thank you for fixing my heart.”
Humancare Goes Global
At Dell Children’s, our mission extends beyond the four walls of the medical center and beyond state lines or country borders. Humancare means being a good global citizen, which is why we partner with local nonprofits like HeartGift to make a difference in children’s lives around the world.