Mercy Hospital is celebrating the gift of life for many through a program called Mercy Variety Yucatan Heart Program. This program was started back in 1979 (Mercy, 2009). It has grown throughout the years and now has benefited almost 900 children. A lot of time, effort, money, and planning goes into this project. Each February a team of doctors, nurses, and clinical staff travel to the cities of Campeche and Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. This team then opens a week long clinic for children with heart problems and defects. In this week approximately 600 children will visit the clinic in hopes of being one of the twenty- five chosen to be flown with a parent to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines to receive care. The twenty five children chosen are those whom the doctors perceive to be in the most critical and in need at the time. When they arrive here the children and parents receive help from translators, interpreters, and volunteers to help make their stay as easy and care-free as possible. Dr. Thomas Becker, one of the many Pediatric Cardiologists that are deeply invested in this program, spoke of patients that have ended up staying at Mercy Hospital for up to three and a half months, and racked up over 750,000 dollars in hospital charges alone (Becker, 2010). Mercy Hospital and Variety International then covered this cost for the family in hopes of saving the life of the child, and giving hope to the many children in need in the Yucatan area. This money is received from many donors who graciously give to the Yucatan Program. Even though Hispanics are 10 percent less likely to have heart disease than non- Hispanics, many more die from it (U.S. Department of Health, 2009). That is because many who live in Mexico cannot afford the medical care and attention that come with severe heart problems. In the Mercy Hospital bulletin they give an example of a family who has this exact problem (Becker, 2010). Luis Jose Lopez Ramirez was only one year old when he...
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