“10,000 Children with Congenital Heart Defects Saved by Heartbeat Vietnam Program”

    The life-saving journey of VCF and Heartbeat Vietnam began in 2005 when VinaCapital Group, a leading investment management and real estate development firm, sponsored a life-saving heart surgery for Cam Dung, a little girl from Quang Nam province. Cam Dung’s story and incredible recovery after her surgery deeply moved and motivated Don Lam, CEO and Founding Partner of VinaCapital, to take action and start saving more disadvantaged children like Dung in need of medical care. Lam decided to establish VCF (VinaCapital Foundation) and partner with Heartbeat Vietnam to help children with heart-related illnesses.

    VCF also helped start and fund the Hoa Binh Scholarship Program, which provides high school scholarships to children from poor families in Hoa Binh province.
    In 2006, Don Lam and Robin King Austin co-founded VinaCapital Foundation with the mission of improving the lives of disadvantaged and ailing children in Vietnam. This eventually led to the inception of Heartbeat Vietnam, VCF’s pioneering program dedicated to providing access to timely medical treatment for financially-challenged children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). By aiding these children in their recovery, VinaCapital Foundation was able to reduce the financial and emotional burden of the families affected.
    In addition, VCF helped to initiate and fund the Hoa Binh Scholarship Program, which offers high school scholarships to children from impoverished families in Hoa Binh province.

    According to the Ministry of Health, an estimated 15,000 infants are born in Vietnam each year with congenital heart disease (CHD). Treatment for this condition is often costly, and many of the affected families come from disadvantaged, rural backgrounds, unable to afford the expenses associated with travel, treatment, and post-operative care for their children.

    Heartbeat Vietnam Program Celebrates Saving 10,000 Children with Congenital Heart Defects
    Children and their families join a Children’s Day activity (Photo: VCF).

    Over the course of its 17-year journey, Heartbeat Vietnam has helped to save and change the lives of 10,000 children who have congenital heart defects in Vietnam. Not only has the program provided free heart surgeries and post-operative care, but it has also provided family grants to assist with the financial burden of such treatments. Moreover, the program has been awarding scholarships to students with congenital heart defects who show excellence in their studies. Thus, it has been a truly life-changing experience for those involved.

    Heartbeat Vietnam’s 10,000th child is Van Vinh, a 13-year-old boy from the Ba Na ethnic group in Binh Dinh province. Unbeknownst to both Vinh and his parents, he had been living with an atrial septal defect in his heart. While attending a boarding school, Vinh had to walk for two hours to class from home every two weeks. However, as his heart defect became increasingly more painful and dangerous, his father had to drive him to school.

    Vinh’s parents are manual workers, and his mother is facing health issues, making it even more difficult for the family to afford healthcare for their children. Fortunately, the Rural Outreach Clinic organized by VCF and partners in Binh Dinh province gave this bright little boy the chance to be seen by Heartbeat Vietnam, and his family was instructed to apply for sponsorship and prepare for his heart surgery in Da Nang. Thanks to Heartbeat Vietnam’s support, Vinh was able to receive the life-saving surgery and now can live a healthy life and pursue his dream of becoming a singer.

    Heartbeat Vietnam Program Celebrates Saving 10,000 Children with Congenital Heart Defects
    A celebration was held to mark the milestone (Photo: VCF)

    Don Lam, CEO and Founding Partner of VinaCapital and Chair of the VCF Board, shares: “10,000 children have been saved and now have the opportunity to be healthy, grow up normally, and dream. Their families now have hope and optimism. With the invaluable support from our dedicated local partners, hospitals, doctors, nurses, and both local and international donors, VCF has been significantly contributing to the improvement and transformation of the livelihoods of the country’s most vulnerable.

    After 17 years of growth and successful building of a positive reputation among partners and donors, VCF is determined to further strengthen their program works and strive to provide more children and families with better access to healthcare, improved living conditions, and ultimately, better lives.

    Since its inception, Heartbeat Vietnam has provided nearly 1,000 Continuing Care packages to enable individuals to visit the hospital for check-ups and follow-ups, more than 750 Grants to help families access the resources they need to take care of their children, and nearly 250 Scholarships to help bright students remain in education.

    VinaCapital Foundation organizes 80 to 100 Rural Outreach Clinics annually and has screened over 325,000 rural children, discovering more than 11,000 of them with congenital heart defects. Of those, more than half require early surgical intervention to survive. Fortunately, Heartbeat Vietnam provides immediate support for these children.

    Upon reaching the milestone of saving 10,000 children, VCF and Heartbeat Vietnam are dedicated to continuing their mission of finding and saving more heart children, allowing them to develop and reach their full potential in order to contribute to the growth of Vietnam.


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