Heart Healthy

Magazine Home Activities Caring Kids Around the World Kids Devotion Just for Grins Childrens Magazine



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 of Bobo-Dioulasso 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.

Then Fatao became a Compassion-sponsored child. Sponsors raised money to send Fatao to India, and soon he was on his way to a healthy heart!

Tasty Tô

Before his trip, Fatao shared a bowl of tô, fish and tomato sauce with his family. Tô is made from millet. It is a grain and looks like rice or mashed potatoes, depending on how long it is cooked.

Are We There Yet?

Fatao and a Compassion health specialist traveled on a bus to the airport in Ouagadougou. It took about four hours. Then he rode two planes to get to Chennai, India. The trip took more than 20 hours!

The Prep Work

Fatao arrived in India, and his doctors took X-rays to prepare for his surgery. He was a little scared, but was happy they could help him.

The Patch

A team of 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!


When kids get sick in the developing world they often don’t have a chance to get well. Here are some reasons why.

Doctors There aren’t enough doctors, doctors’ offices or hospitals near their homes.

Money Their parents don’t have enough money to pay for a doctor or medicine.

Transportation Their families can’t get transportation to the doctor’s office.

Medicine The needed medicines or medical equipment aren’t available in their countries.