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 1,481 children. To date, Samaritan's Purse has brought some 1,181 children with life-threatening heart defects to North America and the Caribbean for heart surgery unavailable in their home countries.
  • In North America and the Caribbean, 69 hospitals have participated in Children's Heart Project, including Mayo Clinic, Rochester; Cleveland Clinic; Children's Hospital of New Orleans, Health City Cayman Islands, Toronto Hospital for Sick Children and Nationwide Children's Hospital.


In 1997, while working in many suffering communities around the world, 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. Since its beginning, the project has helped children in 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