Healing Little Hearts
1163. Sanjiv Nichani
Dr Sanjiv Nichani, from Leicester, is the founder of ‘Healing Little Hearts’, which provides free life-saving heart surgery to babies and children born into poverty in eleven countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.
Dr Sanjiv set up the charity in 2007 and, under his leadership, ‘Healing Little Hearts’ has become one of the most prolific children’s heart charities in the world treating 1,700 patients, partnering with 35 hospitals and operating in 130 camps across three continents. At least 90% of children born with heart defects do not receive treatment, with over 1 million children in Low and Middle Income Countries dying every year from untreated heart disease. ‘Healing Little Hearts’ sends teams of doctors and nurses up to twenty times a year, for the duration of a week, where they perform 12 to 16 heart surgeries on babies and children. Through its outstanding team of volunteers, the charity also trains and empowers local staff to develop expertise so that its centres can become self-sustainable.
In a personal letter to Sanjiv, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Healing Little Hearts’ you are saving the lives of thousands of children across three continents. You and your team of fellow volunteers are also creating a powerful legacy by training medical staff in your area of expertise, ensuring that your vital work continues long after you have left.”
Neil O’Brien, Sanjiv’s local MP for Harborough, said:
“I have met with my constituent Dr Nichani to discuss his inspirational work. He and his team are saving the lives of children not just at Glenfield but now all over the world. I’m sure that everyone who hears about it will be inspired, and the more people who help the more children’s lives they will be able to save.”
“It’s a pleasure and privilege to be awarded the prestigious Point of Light award from the Prime Minister. I fervently hope this award will help raise the awareness of the desperate plight of millions of children in the poorest countries of the world suffering from heart disease. The award will give ‘Healing Little Hearts’ a huge boost in our efforts to help deal with this problem.”