We travel. We operate. We save lives.

Every year over one million children are born with Congenital Heart Disease worldwide. A staggering 90% of these children will NEVER receive the life saving surgery they desperately need.

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) remains the world’s most common birth defect, affecting 1 in 100 children. Many of these children live in rural areas where medical and diagnostic expertise remains limited. Thus, these children remain untreated and fail to thrive. In most cases, children are referred late to specialist centres and often, the families are unable to afford interventions that may be required.

Our Mission Statement

Sending specialist medical teams to perform free life saving heart surgery on babies and children in developing parts of the world.

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Our medical teams have an amazing experience on camp. The bonds our volunteers make with their young patients and their families are so special.

What is CHD?

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is a problem with the structure of the heart which is present at birth. The cause is not fully understood but can be brought about by a number of possible medical and genetic factors. The anomalies include abnormal formation of the heart’s valves, defects (holes) in the septum that divide the chambers and a sometimes almost a complete absence of one side of the heart. Defective hearts can be fatal or present a number of limitations that adversely affect the quality of life.

The burden of corrective surgery is felt most in those countries with the lowest income per capita, particularly due to the lack of freely accessible healthcare as it in the UK or other western countries. CHD is the most common form of birth defect occurring in 1 per 100 births worldwide.

Our history

Founded in August 2007 by Dr Sanjiv Nichani, Healing Little Hearts set out its mission to tackle the disparities in healthcare in the treatment of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in the developing world. Our primary aim is to provide FREE life saving heart surgery to the poorest babies and children around the world.

In our first year, our medical teams travelled to Mumbai and we were able to save the lives of 20 babies and children. Our biggest growth has been since 2015 and in September of that year we extended our outreach to our first camp outside of India – Malaysia. We currently undertake more than 20 camps annually in 11 countries across 3 continents. Over the past 11 years our teams have carried out over 1600 operations. This forms the basis of Healing Little Hearts Global Foundation.

Who we are

Despite being a relatively small charity, Healing Little Hearts comes with huge goals. Our primary aim is to ensure that every child within our reach can access the heart surgery they desperately need.

We are a UK based Registered Children’s Charity (Charity no. 1130194). Our medical volunteers are all registered and qualified professionals. Teams consist of Cardiac Surgeons, Interventional Cardiologists, Anaesthetists, Intensivists, Perfusionists, Nurses and Cardiac Physiologists. Many of our volunteers come from the UK, other parts of Europe, USA, Australia and India. They take annual leave from their daily jobs, some of whom go on 3-4 camps every year. Our volunteers all work towards saving the lives of some of the poorest children in the world whilst sharing their knowledge, skills and experience with the local teams, by taking time off their work.

We have a dedicated committee and young volunteers who facilitate activities such as fundraising as well as raising our profile at various events. Our charity is governed by 3 Trustees. There are less than 5% administration costs and everyone involved is a non-paid volunteer. We receive no government funding.

How we work

We send a team of 8-10 specialist medical volunteers to the developing parts of the world every 2-3 weeks. Our mission is simple – to save the lives of the poorest children in the world.

We provide FREE heart surgery to those that need it the most. Each team stays for 7 days and operates on children by open heart or interventional cardiac catheterisation (key hole) surgery. We have operated on up to 26 children on some of our camps. We currently visit 11 countries in 3 continents

Each of our camp costs on average £6,000 (and this varies depending on how many specialists are required locally). This covers flights and 2-3 star accommodation for a team of 8-10 medical professionals. Therefore, the cost to give a child a new lease of life is only £500-£600.

We believe in empowering the local doctors and nurses and building local capability. Our teams impart their knowledge and skills to the local teams by working hand in hand with them and also by holding Continuing Medical Education programmes (CMEs). This results in creating self sustaining teams locally and thereby continuing the efforts to help the local population with congenital heart disease. Our medical teams are from all across the world – recruiting from the UK, France, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia, Lithuania, India, UAE, USA and Australia.

Who we work with

Healing Little Hearts seeks to empower and train doctors and nurses in hospitals in the poorest countries of the world with the ability to perform cardiac surgery on young children with congenital heart disease. This process typically takes 5-7 years and we work with the local team to share knowledge in various stages.

We look to partner with hospitals which have the desire and basic infrastructure to operate on children with congenital acquired heart disease. We aim to visit each partner hospital 2-4 times per year. The hospital should be equipped with an operating theatre and has a cardio pulmonary bypass machine, as well as a fully equipped and functional intensive care unit. A cardiac catheter suite is desirable but not essential. In addition the hospital should have a fully functional pathology laboratory and a blood bank.

Healing Little Hearts is willing to work with hospitals in lower and middle income countries. Our teams work progressively to train each facet of the cardiac surgical service from cardiac care, cardiac surgery, anaesthesia, perfusion and finally cardiac intensive care.

Our vision

Our primary goal is to expand our global reach as we connect with many more medical centres around the world. Seeking a more regular presence as we increase the frequency of our trips and ultimately save more young lives.

However, this only scratches the surface of the issue. A lack of resources and professional training for local medical staff in developing countries often renders them ill-equipped to practice effectively. Healing Little Hearts prioritises the facilitation of self-sustainability through the provision of training and education of doctors and nurses with up to date procedural and academic knowledge.

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Our Team

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Founder

Committee

our-patrons

Patrons

223+

VOLUNTEERS

Our charity is run solely by volunteers 190+ medical professionals, 10 committee members, 3 Trustees and over 20 support volunteers. No person receives any financial renumeration.

Contact us

We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may help with your spcific enquiry. If you would still like to get in touch the quickest way would be to send us an email. A member of our volunteer team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Telephone: 0116 271 1479
Email: info@healinglittlehearts.org

You can also write to us at:
HLH House, 21 Chestnut Drive, Stretton Hall
Oadby, Leicester LE2 4QX

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes your payments are secure. We use SSL secure checkout via PayPal payment gateway.

The best way to make a donation to us would be online via our website. Click on DONATE for a quick, easy and secure payment method. Alternatively, if you prefer to pay by telephone please contact us on +44 (0)116 271 1479.

Yes you can send your donation to us by post. Please download our Donation Form , print, complete and return back to us. We would advise you not to send cash in the post – cheques or postal orders only.

To set up a Direct Debit payment with us please complete the details on our Donation Form and return back to us. We will set up your Direct Debit with your bank on your behalf.

If you would like to change your banking details or amount on your Direct Debit please call us on +44 (0)116 271 1479. For changes on your standing order please contact your bank directly.

We do endeavour to send Thank you letters and receipts to our supporters. If you have donated and not received a letter or receipt and would like one sending please email us on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk.

Yes, both options are available to anyone who wants to support our charity. Currently we operate in 10 countries across 3 continents. We are continuously exploring ways to reach other countries in desperate need of our help.

Gift Aid is a scheme enabling registered charities to reclaim tax on a donation made by a UK tax payer and by doing so increases the amount of the donation. By signing the Gift Aid declaration, HMRC will add an extra 25% to that donation. For example a £100 donation would become £125.

Yes, leaving a gift to us in your Will is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can help our charity. For more information please visit Leave a Bequest page.

Under Charity Law, charities are not permitted to refund donations, other than specific circumstances – The Charities Act 2011. We are committed to a high standard of legal compliance. Please email us on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk. A member from our team will best advise if we are able to process your application for the refund.

We will endeavour to provide feedback on sponsored children. Our colleagues in the Hospitals that we work with usually follow up on the progress of children post operations. However, due to the fact that the majority of these children come from rural areas, which often involves travelling long distances, at times that might not be feasible.

As an individual or if part of a team, you can hold a fundraising event anywhere in the UK. To hold a fundraising event abroad you would need to check with the local country rules and regulations. For further information on ways to fundraise for our charity please visit our Fundraising page.

Yes, we have Charity Packs as well as charity boxes available to help promote your event. To request a Charity Pack please email us on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk

Yes, we have generic Sponsorship Forms to encourage people to support your event. Please download our Sponsorship Form or email us on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk to request Sponsorship Forms to be sent to you, by post (mainland UK only).

Depending on the date and location, we have a dedicated team of volunteers that could possibly attend your event and say a few words on behalf of our charity. We request you to email us at least 4 weeks prior to your event on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk

At present we have T-shirts available in Adults and Children’s sizes. To order yours email us on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk

Our charity ethics is all about giving back to humanitarian causes. Therefore, all our volunteers take no financial remuneration. Virtually all the money raised goes towards saving the lives of the poorest children in the developing parts of the world.

There are a number of ways you can volunteer for our charity – from medical to administration duties. Please visit our Volunteers page or email us on info@healinglittlehearts.org.uk