(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Underprivileged children with congenital heart defects (CHD) are getting a new lease on life thanks to the Gift of Life Charity Society in Amman (GOLA).
In its mission to save the hearts of children, the charity has so far facilitated life-altering cardiac surgeries for nearly 210 patients from Jordan, Palestine and Iraq since its establishment in 2007.
"We had once facilitated a surgery for a baby only 38 days old," GOLA President Sirene Khurma said during a press conference on Wednesday following the signing of an agreement with the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), under which the bank will donate JD60,000 to the charity to fund needed heart surgeries for 10 children.
"When GOLA first started, we used to rely on word of mouth to receive donations from family members, friends and acquaintances," Khurma said, noting that it was not until GOLA became a registered charity at the social development ministry that it received more donations from the public.
With each surgery costing JD6,000 to JD8,000, and sometimes more, the nonprofit organisation has found different ways to fund the operations, including holding food-tasting gatherings and networking with private institutions.
Fares Shaddad, a GOLA board member, indicated that the society coordinates with other charities and medical staff to help identify underprivileged children who need cardiac surgeries.
Khurma noted that GOLA is planning to improve its outreach.
"We receive many children with CHD. The list of children who need these kinds of operations, but cannot afford them, is too long," she said, adding that a group of physicians from Jordan and the US gather in the Kingdom two times a year to perform the surgeries at Al Khalidi Hospital.
"They perform 30 cardiac surgeries during the year," the GOLA president highlighted, adding that the team is due to start another round of surgical interventions in mid-October.
The physicians also follow up on the conditions of the beneficiaries after the surgeries, especially as some cases need more than one operation.
ABC CEO Simona Sabella Bishouty said the donation was part of the bank's corporate social responsibility efforts.