Children’s Heart Project Fact Sheet


PURPOSE: To provide life-saving surgery for children with congenital heart defects in countries where appropriate treatment is extremely limited or non-existent.

  • Samaritan’s Purse identifies the children needing surgery; locates doctors and hospitals in the United States and Canada willing to donate their services; arranges for host families; and accompanies the children, their mothers, and an interpreter to North America, furnishing round-trip transportation.
  • Children’s Heart Project also works in partnership with visiting teams from U.S. hospitals that provide surgical care for children in their home countries. In addition to providing surgery, these teams provide training and other technical support to equip local health care systems to be able provide the care for the patients themselves.
  • The project has arranged life-saving surgery for more than 1,100 children. As of March 2016, Samaritan’s Purse has brought more than 770 children with life-threatening heart defects to North America for heart surgery not available in their country.
  • Nearly 70 hospitals in North America have participated in the Children’s Heart Project, including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis, Ind., and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

HISTORY: 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, with plans 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 //