Children's Heart
Surgery Program


Since 1989, Vets With A Mission has implemented numerous humanitarian programs and projects in Viet Nam. One of its most important programs is the Children’s Heart Surgery Program.

The CHSP provides major cardiology procedures - often life saving operations - for children who otherwise would not receive them. These heart operations are done for “pennies on the dollar” when compared to the cost in the United States, Canada and other countries! All patients are screened and prioritized, and when no children or teenagers are identified, VWAM often helps adults.
Fortunately, this young Vietnamese teenager, Vo Thi Nhu Trinh, from Thuy Binh Village near Hue, had her operation thanks to supporters of our Children’s Heart Surgery Program. In the words of Dr. David Jester, “This heart surgery drastically altered a life, giving this 15-year-old child a chance at life because without the operation, she would have died!"

February is Heart Surgery Sponsorship Month! 

Take a look at a couple of short videos from patients VWAM sponsored for surgery:

Thank You from Nguyen Thi To

Thank You from Nguyen Thi Diu

As an IRS approved 501(C) (3) charitable non-profit organization, your donation as a sponsor is fully tax deductible. VWAM’s in-country administrator assures accountability of both the patient and your gift.

It’s all part of what we do and who we are. As, St. Francis of Assisi said, “Wherever you go preach Christ, and if necessary, use words!”


When you make a gift to Vets With A Mission sponsoring a child’s heart procedure, your tax-deductible donation is deposited in its Medicine and Patient Services Fund, a designated account, and you will receive a gift acknowledgement receipt. Prior to a medical missions team departing for Viet Nam, the funds are transferred to an HSBC bank in Ho Chi Minh City, a secure private financial institution.

VWAM’s Executive Director approves all funds transfers for payment of any operation once documentation is received that verifies physical and hospital expenditures.

Prior to a transfer of funds from HSBC to the hospital bank account, VWAM’s in-country liaison again checks hospital and physical charges for accuracy before authorized funds are transferred for payment. An expense report is sent from the VWAM office in Hue to the Vets With A Mission office in the United States.

Heart Patient 13 yr old Phan Thi Ngoc Anh with Father from Da Nang.


Years ago the only choice was to bring the patient to the United States, Canada or another Southeast Asian developed country. Now that is cost prohibitive and not necessary because heart surgeries take place in Viet Nam at either Hue Medical College/Hue Central Hospital or at Hoan My Hospital in Da Nang. Surgery is affordable by Western standards with excellent follow-up care. To date, after 61 procedures, the mortality rate is 0.02%, which means the majority of surgeries have been successful and without complications.

While VWAM has sponsored dozens of heart operations, there are more children that need them. In fact over 600 children, teens and young adults are on Hue Medical College-Hue Central Hospital and Hoan My Hospital “waiting list.” Money is a huge problem for these poor families and one they rarely, if ever, solved. Their child is going to meet an early death unless there is a miracle. You can help us make that miracle happen.

Think of what is really important to you. One heart surgery sponsor said, “I have never felt better about the giving of my money than to this cause. I will carry the memory of this child in my own heart until the day I die.”


In the words of Vets With A Mission’s former Medical Director, Dr. David Jester, “it’s the policy of Vets With A Mission to screen patients and find that special patient. It is a patient who can’t afford it and otherwise wouldn’t get the surgery. It has to be surgery that will drastically alter their life, giving a child, teen or young adult a chance at life, because without the operation, the individual would die.”​


Vets With A Mission humanitarian medical teams offer free primary healthcare examinations for the poor. Typically a patient is one who does not have health insurance or access to health services. The patient’s vitals and history are taken in triage. The patient is then seen by one of our doctors. A diagnosis is made, treatment recommended, and prescriptions are written. Prescriptions are filled from the VWAM Pharmacy, and if the medicine needed is not on hand, VWAM gets it for them.

If an operation is recommended, the patient is sent to the hospital for further tests and confirmation of the diagnosis. VWAM pays for these test, hospitalization and transportation assistance, if needed. Once financial need is verified, the patient is then notified of a heart surgery sponsorship. Arrangements are made with the Hue Medical College-Hue Central Hospital in Hue, Thua Thien Province or Hoan My Hospital in Da Nang, to have the procedure done.

Vets With A Mission’s in-country liaison participates in this process from the very beginning. This person verifies costs, follows treatment, serves the patient and their family. When it’s time to “pay the bill” the entire family goes with VWAM’s representative to the hospital. That’s because we want them to understand the role of Vets With A Mission and the generosity of their sponsor.

It’s at this point VWAM’s rep shares the humanitarian reasons behind this sponsorship, and VWAM's ministry  contacts share  the spiritual reasons of “Why we did this for them?”


Children in Vietnam are just like children in the US. And most of us have grandchildren, so we can empathize with the parents of these kids who desperately need a life-altering or life-saving procedure. Imagine an entire examination, pre-op, surgery, hospitalization and post-op that costs less than $4,000 US! Here it would be ten or twenty times that amount, so the "Bang you get for your buck" investing in the CHSP is remarkable and an incredible ROI. Please join us today in sponsoring an operation in part or to fully fund one.

Become a Sponsor


Vietnam vets served our country on land, sea and in the air to help the Vietnamese people. It was said, “We were the best and the brightest.” Well, we believe that is still true today. Vets return for a number of reasons including personal, religious/spiritual and humanitarian. Vets With A Mission is dedicated to reconciliation in helping Vietnam veterans and all veterans – even those of former South Vietnam, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong – to honor the past and embrace the future. Vietnam is no longer a war; it is a country. Since 1989 nearly 2,600 volunteers, both veterans and non-veterans, have traveled to Vietnam with VWAM. Now you can join us in making a difference in your life and the lives of others.