Who we are
The training hospital in Cambodia
Surgeons of Hope is a registered 501 (c) 3 humanitarian foundation whose purpose is to bring life-saving advanced heart surgery to children who would otherwise not have access to this kind of sophisticated technology. Founded by the same doctors who founded Doctors without Borders, Surgeons of Hope brings advanced medical procedures to places where the need is greatest.
We are a group of surgeons, physicians, managers, pastor and many other volunteers who decided to gather our expertise and energy for the cause of the severely ill children in the world who have no access to advanced medicine. Because of geographic isolation and lack of medical resources, children perish from a disease that is otherwise perfectly corrected in rich countries.
Other organizations have focused their actions on basic medical and sanitary needs in developing: immunization, clean water, family planning, prevention of malaria and AIDS and other major infectious diseases. Our approach is different. We want to treat more complex pediatric pathologies and provide to these isolated countries satisfactory resources, facilities and training to insure sustainable advanced surgical programs in the midterm.
We started in 2002 by sending American surgical teams to our international network, in hospitals built by La Chaine de l'Espoir (Chain of Hope, the daughter Foundation from Doctors without Borders) in Cambodia, Mozambique and Senegal. We then chose to develop a program in Nicaragua.
Our first target is pediatric heart diseases, which includes congenital and rheumatic heart diseases. Pediatric Heart Disease is a frequent pathology. The current epidemiologic evaluations report that several hundred thousands of children with heart diseases are abandoned in the world with no treatment. The result is that these children lead miserable lives, burdens to their families, and often cannot leave their beds. Instead of contributing to their families' and to their countries' welfare, they lie in bed, unable to work or play. The technological procedures that lie at the foundation of heart surgery require fully equipped hospitals. We build such hospitals in countries, or rehabilitate existing hospitals where a potential for such transformation exists in the local community. We then bring experienced doctors to perform heart surgery on indigent children, while at the same time training local surgical teams who will one day be able to perform these surgeries independently.
Sometimes children who have lain in bed for years will be able to run and play with their friends only two or three days after their surgery. Children recover quickly and regain strength speedily. After having been a burden on their families for years, many children become almost instantly productive and contributive members of their families and communities.