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Charlotte: Activist, Teacher, Mother, and Patient

Charlotte is a teacher and mother of four. Her symptoms of rheumatic heart disease occurred when pregnant with her 4th child. Her life has been changed from a valve replacement surgery and she is now the active mother and community leader she was before her illness.


“I am a female cardiac patient who had heart surgery by Team Heart in February, 2014. I grew up in a poor family. I sometimes suffered from tonsillitis. During those episodes, my parents advised me to drink warm water mixed with salt. They did not know that some types of sore throats could be a cause of rheumatic fever and, subsequently, of valvular heart disease. In 2013, when I was pregnant with my 4th child, I felt very bad, with coughing and difficulty breathing. I was no longer able to teach (my daily job), and I spent whole nights without sleeping due to shortness of breath when lying down. I could not climb even a small hill. My life was in danger. I went to a hospital. There, the doctor examined me and did a radiographic examination. He told me that I suffered from heart disease. He gave me some medications, but I continued to have severe symptoms. I returned to the hospital. I was advised to have an abortion and to look for funding to go to China for heart surgery. I became confused. My family was not able to take me to China, and I did not want to have an abortion. I prepared for my death and for my children to be orphans. Thanks to God, I heard from Team Heart. That is how my life was saved. After being operated upon, I feel good.“


“My children now have hope. I am doing well in my job and I am able to serve society as a contributing citizen.”

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