April to October – Children’s Lifeline / American Airlines & Mercy Hospital
YUCATAN From April through October of this year, the tri-partite network of Lifeline, American Airlines and Mercy Hospital of Des Moines addressed the cardiac needs of 25 children. The children ranged in age from 19 months to 17 years. Every February, a team from Mercy Hospital conducts a clinical screening mission to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. The mission screens approximately 600 children for cardiac defects. The annual assessment typically identifies 25 to 30 children for corrective heart surgery. Children’s Lifeline coordinates and sponsors the travel of the children and a parent to Mercy Hospital, where they are received and treated by Dr. Thomas Becker, program director for the Yucatan Project. Air transportation to the United States is, arranged by Lifeline through the American Airlines “Miles for Kids” program. Mercy Hospital and its staff donate their time and expertise to treat the impoverished children of the Yucatan.