Our Mission

Providing access to lifesaving cardiac care for the children of Belize.

Gift of Life Belize

With a population of less than 500,000, tertiary level care in Belize is still limited. Pediatric Open-heart surgery remains in the distant future. While multiple children today need and deserve the services, 90% of the population could not afford Pediatric Cardiac Surgery with a minimum wage structure of approximately $1.75 U.S. per hour. Most of the population is heavily dependent on Socialized Medicine.

The Rotary Club of Belize pioneered Pediatric Cardiac response by sending our first case in 1977. Since then we have expanded our network by joining the movement of Gift of Life International.

For over 40 years of service, we have been able to provide hundreds of Belize’s children with a better quality of life, thanks to proper diagnoses and treatment. The Gift of Life program depends on the support of generous people like you. Please consider making a pledge today and make a difference tomorrow!

What We Do:

Gift of Life Belize provides sustained in-country pediatric cardiac screening clinics every six months; arranges and supports access to surgical intervention when required as a possible option for a child’s condition.

Gift of Life doctor and patient
Gift of Life mother and child

Why We Do:

Congenital Heart Defect affects 1 out of every 115 to 150 births. Belizeans are born in a country that cannot provide them with the needed treatment. Gift of Life Belize makes every effort to bring medical care and hope to these children and their families, healing little hearts who otherwise would not receive treatment.

Who We Help:

We care for children of Belize from Birth to 18 years of age affected by Congenital and Acquired Heart Defects, regardless of gender, economic circumstance or culture.   

Gift of Life Doctor and Patient

Who We Are:

Gift of Life Belize is a Project of the Rotary Club of Belize.

Our Program

In-country

  • Pediatric Cardiac Clinics are conducted in February and August every year in partnership with Rotary Omaha’s Operations Hippocrates and Gift of Life Florida respectively.
  • Visiting Pediatric Cardiologists accurately diagnose patients, initiate treatment, determine who requires surgical intervention and establish the order of priority.
  • Clinics offer follow-up care for post-surgery patients and treatment for all.
  • Scores of children are seen at each clinic. In addition to those identified to undergo the necessary procedures to correct their life-threatening cardiac conditions, others gain a better quality of life with proper diagnoses and prescriptions.
  • Approximately 100 patients are seen during each round of clinics.
  • Roughly 10% seen undergo the necessary surgeries/procedures to correct their life-threatening cardiac conditions each year.
  • Interventional Cardiologists have expanded their services to offer in-country CATH LAB procedures. Simple lesions such as Patent Ductus Arteriosus are closed, Pulmonary Stenosis opened and diagnostic CATHS performed when the CATH LABs at local Hospitals are available.

International

  • Gift of Life Belize works with its partners to identify placements at Hospitals willing to accept each case for Open heart surgeries and other cardiac procedures as a Charity Waiver or at a nominal fee.
  • Gift of Life Belize facilitates the travel, including visas and airfare, even passports and travel funds as necessary.
  • Our partners arrange boarding, transfers and all other logistical and emotional support for each patient and the accompanying parent or guardian.

Congenital Heart Disease

Referring a Child to GoL

Children can be assisted at any time. If it is between clinics that your child’s problem is identified we will need:

We have developed this protocol based upon the reality that many hospitals are limiting the types of conditions they are willing to accept/treat. We do not want to give false hope or heighten the expectations of parents and their children.

Gift of Life Belize will work with partners and hospitals both regionally and in the USA to place a child in the right care. Our goal is to ensure the fairest evaluation process and provide parents and children with the most realistic expectations once they submit the necessary information to us.

Note: When attending Clinics parent should bring along all medical notes, prescriptions and medications currently available for your child.

To begin your referral process please call us at +501-610-3890 or email us at giftoflifebelize@gmail.com.

Our Partners

The Gift of Life Belize Program cannot survive on funding alone. There is a dedicated network of individuals and organizations who donate their time, resources, and expertise to help our young patients. We also have organizations who sponsor the program through monetary and material donations.

Gift of Life Media

News coverage of the urgent needs of Gift of Life patients and their success stories not only help the program raise funds and awareness of the program but also serve to update the public about how our young patients are doing. When a news story airs on the radio, TV, or newspaper, support and prayers come in from all over the country.

For more updates, visit our Facebook page!

Gift of Life Belize
Gift of Life Belize3 days ago
We pause to say: "THANK YOU Dr. James Huhta". His years of personal annual commitment, hard work and everyday attention to our little Belizean Heart Warriors helped tremendously in advancing access to lifesaving care. Not being able to host this August's Clinics reminds us just how important in-country semi-annual clinics are to our patients. Not only in making it easier to access care, but also in ensuring long-term successful outcomes. If you remember Dr. Huhta, please feel free to give him a shout below. James Huhta