The Gift of Life Program has saved plenty of lives in Belize. The program, which is a part of the Rotary Club, helps children who were born with congenital heart disease. This condition causes a hole in the heart which normally heals on its own, but when it doesn’t, children often time need surgery to correct it. The program ensures that the children receive this help, whether in Belize or abroad. Unfortunately, with the covid-19 pandemic, this has become a challenge for the program coordinators. Airports are now closed, and travel to the US, where most of the patients go, is risky. According to the chairman, Ariel Mitchell, they have had to think outside the box to continue to assist children.
The program is kept afloat by the kind doctors and nurses who travel to Belize using their own finances in order to hold a bi-annual clinic. Rotarians in the US also assist by giving the patients a place to stay, sometimes for months, and facilitating their doctor visits. Mitchell stated that this kind of assistance is necessary to ensure that children’s lives continue to be saved at a low cost to the parents. If any member of the public would like to help assist the program with donations the can contact Mitchell at 610-0460.