Avant Garde “Save a Heart” project has supported underprivileged children with heart disease to undergo surgeries and treatment so that they are able to lead a normal life.
AGMS has contributed to increase the capacity of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH) by donating equipment and developing the cardiac ICU. This way, the hospital is able to perform more surgeries, reaching out to more children with heart disease, enabling them to lead healthier lives. Treatment of heart diseases in children should be performed in highly specialized centers and only a few hospitals, including LRH, are equipped to perform such surgeries in Sri Lanka.
Currently, more than 90% of children with congenital and acquired heart diseases in Sri Lanka are treated at LRH. They perform about 650 catheter-based interventions and 900 cardiac surgeries every year. However, this is not adequate to clear the long waiting list as there are thousands of children awaiting surgery.
Therefore, AGMS financially supports children from underprivileged families to undergo urgent surgeries at private hospitals which costs about Rs. 1,000,000 – 1,500,000. AGMS selects needy children with financial difficulties from the waiting list and provides them with financial assistance.
Congenital heart disease is a major killer of children under five years. According to reports, for every 1,000 newborn babies, 6-8 are born with a congenital heart disease. It is also estimated that 2,500-3,000 children are born with a congenital heart disease every year in Sri Lanka. Most of them need either surgical or catheter-based treatment within the first year of their life. Unless treated in a timely manner, some may not live to see their first birthday and a majority may die before they reach adulthood.
With priority given to heart surgeries in children, AGMS also supports children needing other kinds of medical attention such as for leukemia, brain surgeries, kidney transplants and neurosurgeries. Some have even been sent abroad for surgeries to treat leukemia as this is not conducted locally. Children have been financially supported to get treatment at Apollo India, CMC Vellore and Mount Elizabeth, Singapore.
As such, Avant Garde has saved more than over 200 lives and is committed to continue the project to bring thousands of children and their families out of misery.