A Call to Action for Remedy Missions in Iraq This Summer

“30 Kids in 30 Days!”

This rally cry has been heard in our office and seen on our website several times throughout the last month, but what exactly does it mean?

This August, the Preemptive Love Coalition is planning to partner with the International Children’s Heart Foundation to bring in both immediate and long-term life-saving opportunities to children in Iraq with congenital heart defects. We call these surgical training missions “Remedy Missions.”

These more localized forms of surgeries will make it easier for children to get to surgeries without having to travel to different countries, and will empower the local doctors to do more in their community. In keeping the surgeries local, the excess time and money lost to applying for visas, bying plane tickets, packing, and other international travel plans are shaved off. In saving time and money, these localized missions will result in making heart surgeries more available to a wider range of people.

In fact, PLC’s goal of seeing 30 children touched in 30 days, if realized, will mean that we help more children in the month of August than we did in the entire 2009 year.

Also, family members will be more accessible to provide love and support for these children who are going through the surgeries. Instead of outsourcing children and one of their family members, we are working to provide care in a familiar environment that will help entire families be part of working through the process together.

The Remedy Missions will not only focus on the immediate need for these dying children, but it will also enhance hope for the future of health care for congenital heart defects in Iraq. This summer world class doctors and nurses will be investing time into local doctors and nurses, giving them training that will make an impact on the people of this country for years to come. This training is so critical to the work being done in Iraq to help combat congenital heart defects because Iraqi cardiologists and surgeons often find it difficult to travel to other countries to learn from seminars and hands-on training. Still, this training is invaluable to them.

For us, the number 30 signifies more than just numbers to tack onto a list of successful heart surgeries or days spent trying to do something with the summer. These 30 are lives that are worth fighting for, worth giving for.

Treatment here is vastly different from that in America. In this country, families do not have the ability to go to the hospital and fix what is wrong with their dying son or daughter, even if they had the money. In the States, how would a father or mother react if, in the middle of the doctor’s visit, the doctor told them, “I’m sorry. Your child is dying. And there is a way to possibly save his life, but I do not know how to do that”?

Though there have been similar efforts, this is the first of its magnitude dealing with complex heart conditions in this area. As of today, we are still trying to raise over $50,000 to make these surgeries a reality. And with a June 19th deadline, we are looking at urgency.

But if there are thousands of children dying of heart disease in this country, and there is a possibility of making a dent in that number, how can urgency no be part of the equation?