OPERATION BRAVEHEART carries out research to provide insights that help to better support children who have heart surgery at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, Australia.

Formed in 2011, OPERATION BRAVEHEART responds to the need for more extensive support for children going into heart surgery and on their return home. Whilst a heart operation is lifesaving, pre-op and aftercare is critical to the ongoing health and recovery of children with heart conditions. The project therefore keeps in touch with children and their families for the months and years after their surgery to observe their recovery process. We aim specifically to reach children who come from indigenous, culturally diverse, or socio-economically disadvantaged communities and engage in cross-cultural conversations with parents and families to find out how they understand their child’s healthcare needs.

In carrying out this research, OPERATION BRAVEHEART provides valuable feedback to the health services in the hope of improving the quality of cardiac health care in hospitals and in Primary Health Care settings. We do this by working closely with doctors, surgeons and nurses in Cape Town, South Africa and Sydney, Australia.

Publication of article

Read our new article describing the work of the Operation Braveheart team and the children who have participated in our research:

A first qualitative snapshot: cardiac surgery and recovery in 10 children in the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa (2011–2016). Lauraine Vivian, George Comitis, Claudia Naidu, Cynthia Hunter, John Lawrenson. Cardiology in the Young (2018),28,322–328. doi:10.1017/S1047951117001925