Children's Heart Project


To provide life-saving surgery for children with congenital heart defects from countries where appropriate treatment is extremely limited or nonexistent.

  • Samaritan's Purse identifies children in need of surgery; finds doctors and hospitals in North America willing to donate their services; provides roundtrip airfare; coordinates with host families; and arranges for a medical transporter to accompany the children, their mothers and an interpreter to North America.
  • Children's Heart Project also works in partnership with visiting teams from U.S. hospitals who provide surgical care for children in their home countries. In addition to providing surgery, these teams offer training and other technical support to equip local healthcare systems to care for patients.
  • Since 1997, the project has arranged life-saving surgery for more than 1,400 children. To date, Samaritan's Purse has brought some 970 children with life-threatening heart defects to North America for heart surgery unavailable in their home countries.
  • In North America, 60 hospitals have participated in Children's Heart Project, including Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio; Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee; Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York; and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas.


While working in Bosnia in 1997, Samaritan's Purse found many children suffering from congenital heart defects who could not be adequately treated because the country's ethnic war had damaged hospitals and equipment and forced many doctors to flee. After contacting a hospital in the United States that agreed to donate medical care, Samaritan's Purse arranged for the first child to undergo what is often routine surgery in the United States. The project moved beyond Bosnia into Mongolia, Bolivia and Uganda, and it continues to expand into other areas of the world where treatment is unavailable.

Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization working in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit