Mending Kids Sends One-Year-Old Child From Democratic Republic of Congo to India for Life-Saving Heart Surgery

Mending Kids photoGlendale, Calif., (September 24, 2018) –  At only one-year-old, Princesse has had quite a few challenges since birth. Princesse, whose legal name is Lofeka Assia, was born in Kinshasa via an emergency c-section and has been in and out of the hospital since then due to a cleft palate and a significant heart defect. She will soon undergo critical cardiac surgery by Mending Kids International Surgical Care program. Last week, Mending Kids flew her and her mother to Bangalore, India, to the Columbia Asia Hospital to be operated on by Dr. Joseph Xavier, Chief Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon.

Princesses’ heart condition was diagnosed after a follow-up doctor’s appointment to uncover other potential health threats. Princesse was referred to Clinique Ngaliema, the public hospital in Kinchasa, the capital. The family had hoped that surgery locally was an option but later learned it had been a decade since the hospital had hosted a visiting cardiac team.

In January of this year, she had her first surgery to repair her lip and mouth. Princesse’s mother met Dr. Pacifique Nundo at a local “Operation Smile” mission. He was in attendance to do research about cleft lip and palate. She mentioned to him her daughter’s failing heart and he immediately made contact with Mending Kids.

Princesses’ heart disease was advancing. She had trouble breathing and difficulty eating, which is why her weight is much lower than it should be for her age. At times her feet would swell and she was very prone to infection.

According to Dr. Nundo, Princess was lucky to be helped by Mending Kids. “ We thank you very much. Her heart will soon be repaired.”  He goes on to say, “There are many more children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, born with various heart defects but who have not had the chance like Princesse.”

For more information about Mending Kids and our Overseas Surgical Missions or to support our efforts to provide critical surgical care, visit

About Mending Kids

Mending Kids provides life-saving surgical care to children worldwide. Over the last 10 years, thousands of children have received corrective, transformational and life-saving surgeries that have given them a chance at longer, healthier and happier lives. As well as providing critical surgical care, our overseas surgical teams train local staff towards medical sufficiency in their communities. Most of the surgeries performed correct congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, colorectal malformations, Ear-Nose-Throat deformities, and catastrophic burns. Mending Kids’ work is accomplished through four core programs: Overseas Surgical Missions, US Hometown Missions, Individual Surgical Care, and Training Research and Innovation.

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