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Thousands of children in Vietnam younger than five years of age suffer from heart disease. Children’s heart disease is the most common birth defect globally and 90% of the children born in developing

Ms. Huong, very sad before surgery

countries have no access to the care they need. For those who never receive heart surgery in childhood, a lifetime of a weak heart and poor health takes a toll: as adults, they are often confined to physical labor roles which are extremely taxing on their health. Some are not able to work at all, and fear for how to provide for their families.

These were the experiences for two moms living in rural Quang Ngai Provinice in Central Vietnam: recently MEDRIX sponsored life-changing heart surgeries for Ms. Huong and Mrs. Mac. We’d like to share their stories with our donors to illustrate the true long-term impact that heart surgery sponsorship can have. Healthy lives open the door to education and hope not just for the people who receive surgery, but for their entire families. We truly could not do this work withour your support, and we thank you for helping Ms. Huong, Mrs. Mac, and countless others suffering from heart defects in Vietnam.

Ms. Huong, post-surgery

Ms. Huong is a 34 year old single mother to a 12 year old daughter. Being a single mom in rural Quang Ngai Province is not easy, but Ms. Huong’s life became even more difficult when she was no longer able to work as a waitress in a cafe due to her heart defect. She was very afraid of what might happen to her daughter if she couldn’t support her, or if she even died from her heart problems. Neighbors agreed to watch her daughter while she traveled to Hue for diagnosis and treatment: her condition was so severe that she was hospitalized immediately after MEDRIX agreed to help support her surgery costs. Ms. Huong had surgery on November 24th and was discharged in early December with a good condition. The MEDRIX staff described the impact of Ms. Huong’s surgery:

“Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Huong…has come back home to fulfill her mission as a mother AND a father for her little daughter. Her dream to have good health to support her daughter and give her a good education has come true because of the donors of MEDRIX…Today the two big smiles are shining brightly in this little family.”

Mrs. Mac is a 41 year old married woman with 3 children, including a 1 year old baby, who discovered her heart defect later in life. She and her husband both work as farmers, struggling to support their

Mrs. Mac and her husband, very worried before surgery

family. Despite living in an extremely mountainous and rural area of Central Vietnam, Mrs. Mac and her husband traveled to Hue to get treatment at our partner hospital. They had to take a bus, a train and a taxi to reach the “Big City” of Hue from their small village in Quang Ngai Province. They were both afraid of her health prospects from major heart surgery, especially for their younger children who would need a caring mother in their life. Fortunately, Mrs. Mac’s surgery was very successful, and she was discharged just in time for the (Western) New Year on December 30th! As you can tell from her picture, Mrs. Mac is very happy to start her new life in new year of 2017. She and her family send their most sincere thanks to the donors and wishes them all the best in the new year.

Mrs. Mac, post-surgery looking very happy and healthy!

Because of the generosity of donors like you, these moms are able to return home with a new lease on life, and plenty of hope and opportunity to care for their children. Their families will stay intact and their children will have a much better chance of finishing their education, instead of being forced into working to support themselves while they’re still children. Moms are often the glue that hold families together, and thanks to our supporters, these two moms have a lifetime of health ahead of them for their most important work: caring for their families and sharing love with their children.

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‘Tis the season…the holidays are upon us, and what an amazing year 2016 has been! Thanks to your generosity and support, MEDRIX was able to sponsor 22 life-saving heart surgeries this year: TWENTY TWO!! This was an unexpected but very appreciated gift that simply wouldn’t be possible without you.  The MEDRIX team and all of […] Read more

We recently shared with you the great success we’ve had in bringing safe water systems and education to rural villages in Vietnam. We were able to fully fund 31 LifeStraw safe water systems for rural communities in Thua Thien-Hue Province in Central Vietnam. The systems will be installed in preschools, primary schools and health clinics […] Read more

Thanks to the support of MEDRIX donors and partners, another community health workshop has wrapped up and its participants are eager to share their new knowledge within their communities! Recently health workers from Phu Loc District participated in a workshop that demonstrated how to safely care for expecting mothers and their newborns, especially regarding immunization […] Read more

MEDRIX and the Center for Preventative Medicine in TT Hue Province provide community health training workshops for teachers and parents. These workshops have been ongoing for several years, and strive to share basic community health standards and techniques such as drowning or choking hazards, epidemic prevention or safe water usage. The goal of these workshops […] Read more

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Last week we shared the story of Hung, who was approved for heart surgery sponsorship. He also got a new name: his given name represented conflict and hatred. MEDIX Executive Director LaRelle Catherman suggested a new name for him to go with his new lease on life: it was decided to call him Hung, which means […] Read more

Here is a report “from the field” by our Safe Water Director Robert Catherman, who is currently in Vietnam with the MEDRIX team and participated first-hand in heart patient interviews. Please read his account below, and thank you to our supporters for changing lives in Vietnam in ways that MEDRIX never even imagined. Today was […] Read more


Why a World Water Day? World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. […] Read more

17 year old Kpiuh Hieu was facing a life of uncertainty and poor health: with heart pain and extreme fatigue and weakness, his future looked bleak. Kpiuh belongs to the Gia Rai ethnic minority group that live in rural villages in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Without the ability to perform any manual labor due […] Read more

In October 2015, MEDRIX Executive Director LaRelle Catherman led a nursing leadership course at National Pediatric Hospital in Vietnam, designed to empower and encourage head nurses of critical departments. Upon course completion, our partners asked MEDRIX project manager Ms. Ha to teach a conversational English course to the same group of nurses who felt that […] Read more