Mission Statement

Heart conditions know no boundaries. These conditions cut across age, geography, societies and cultures.

The diagnosis of Congenital Heart Defects in a child is always devastating for the parents. The prospect of surgery must daunt even the most optimistic.

In the developed world, many of us are accustomed to and trust the concept of life-saving surgeries on children. We are prepared and reassured by skilled and experienced specialist teams. We are offered support mechanisms through outreach teams and parent groups, staffed by people who have experienced what we are facing.

But what of the developing world?

How are parents of children needing heart surgery encouraged to make that leap of faith which is likely to transform their child’s life for the better, if it is alien to them; to their culture and traditions; to their understanding of the heart even?

Operation BraveHeart is a unique project addressing this issue by bringing together medical anthropologists with well-resourced cardiac surgical units in two developing world settings. By interviewing parents and children before, during and six weeks after their surgery, the project seeks to understand how patients and their families understand their condition, their health, the surgery facing them and the recovery process. Through this, the anthropology team is building up a picture of family beliefs, attitudes and values which can be used to open up the possibilities of life-saving surgery for countless children across the developing world.

Congenital Heart Defects can be a life-long condition. But many children suffering from the Conditions can live well and thrive long into adulthood if they and their families are given the understanding to choose this path.

Please help us to carry on this vital work.

If you are interested in Funding OPERATION BRAVEHEART please contact us directly.