Heart Healthy

See how doctors helped fix Fatao’s heart.

When Fatao was a little boy, he was sick a lot and couldn’t run or play very much. He was born with a hole in his heart and needed surgery to fix it.

Doctors in Fatao’s city in Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 couldn’t patch his heart. They didn’t have the right tools at their hospitals. Fatao had to go to India for surgery. But his parents didn’t have enough money to send him there.

Then Fatao joined Compassion’s program. Sponsors raised money to send him to India, and soon he was on his way to a healthy heart!

essay photo

Fatao got his bags packed with his mom (on the left) and Marie-Jeanne, a health specialist from his Compassion center. They sat outside their home with the bags and some gifts from Compassion sponsors.

essay photo

Fatao and Marie-Jeanne traveled on a bus to the airport in Ouagadougou. It took about four hours on bumpy, dusty roads. Then he rode two planes to get to Chennai, India. The trip took more than 20 hours!

essay photo

Fatao’s mom stayed home and worked, selling steamed bean cakes on the side of a road. She doesn’t have a birth certificate. So she couldn’t get a passport to go to India with Fatao. Passports are needed to travel from one country to another. So she stayed in Burkina Faso and prayed for her son’s safe return.  

essay photo

Fatao’s doctors in India took X-rays to get ready for his surgery. He was a little scared, but he was happy they could help him. A couple of days later, he went back to the hospital for surgery. Doctors used a GORE-TEX® patch to sew over the hole in Fatao’s heart. After his surgery, Fatao stayed in the hospital for about a week.

essay photo

When Fatao came home, his heart was healing and his parents were excited. They had a party for him with his favorite food and lots of celebrations!

essay photo

Fatao is now 9. Here he is with a classmate and a worker at his Compassion center. Now that he has a healthy heart, he can focus on studying. He also loves to play soccer, which he didn’t have the energy for when he was weak and sick.

Fatao got his bags packed with his mom (on the left) and Marie-Jeanne, a health specialist from his Compassion center. They sat outside their home with the bags and some gifts from Compassion sponsors.

Fatao and Marie-Jeanne traveled on a bus to the airport in Ouagadougou. It took about four hours on bumpy, dusty roads. Then he rode two planes to get to Chennai, India. The trip took more than 20 hours!

Fatao’s mom stayed home and worked, selling steamed bean cakes on the side of a road. She doesn’t have a birth certificate. So she couldn’t get a passport to go to India with Fatao. Passports are needed to travel from one country to another. So she stayed in Burkina Faso and prayed for her son’s safe return.  

Fatao’s doctors in India took X-rays to get ready for his surgery. He was a little scared, but he was happy they could help him. A couple of days later, he went back to the hospital for surgery. Doctors used a GORE-TEX® patch to sew over the hole in Fatao’s heart. After his surgery, Fatao stayed in the hospital for about a week.

When Fatao came home, his heart was healing and his parents were excited. They had a party for him with his favorite food and lots of celebrations!

Fatao is now 9. Here he is with a classmate and a worker at his Compassion center. Now that he has a healthy heart, he can focus on studying. He also loves to play soccer, which he didn’t have the energy for when he was weak and sick.

Get a recipe for , one of Fatao’s favorite foods!

Get the recipe

Send this to a friend