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About Sickkids
About SickKids

December 10, 2014

Boys from Mongolia are active, healthy

Two little boys and members of their families from Mongolia travelled to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto in 2013 so they could receive life-saving open heart surgery. Unrelated and living more than four hours away from each other, the boys were both born with a heart defect known as tetralogy of fallot. Thanks to the help of Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project and the Herbie Fund, they are well today.

The boys’ story illustrates the work SickKids does for children all over the world. “As world leaders in paediatric care whose mission is ‘Healthier Children. A Better World.’ our work through the Herbie Fund, the international partnerships and education services we have developed through SickKids International, and our ongoing research and capacity building through the Centre for Global Child Health are important parts of our mandate,” says Cathy Séguin, Vice-President, SickKids International.

The mission of the Herbie Fund is to bring children from around the world to SickKids for life-saving or life-altering surgeries that aren’t available to them in their home countries. The charitable fund was created in 1979; since then SickKids physicians have donated their time and expertise free of charge, helping to save the lives of more than 750 children from 105 countries.


Amraa (full name Amartuvshin) turns five in February, 2015. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at the age of 10 days. SickKids cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Edward Hickey operated on him on Jan. 23, 2013, and his cardiologist was Dr. Jin Lee. Six weeks later, Amraa was permitted to fly back to Mongolia. 

Samaritan’s Purse reported in December 2014:  “Amraa is doing very well.  This school year, Amraa has started kindergarten. He was a big help with his family’s animals over the summer. His family has over one thousand animals so they need all the help they can get with them. They have to move several times a year where grazing is good to sustain the animals. Over the summer, he enjoyed running around and catching all the baby animals. Amraa also enjoys playing with toy cars. Without his life-saving heart surgery, he would not be thriving today. His mom recently had a baby boy, so the family is thankful for this new life and the new one given Amraa through the work of The Hospital for Sick Children.”



Temuujin is six months younger than Amraa. He too was diagnosed with a heart defect shortly after birth. Dr. Osami Honjo operated on Temuujin on Feb. 4, 2013, and again Dr. Jin Lee served as cardiologist. “The hospital was perfect,” his mother Batchimeg said. “The doctors and nurses were so attentive and made sure all of our questions were answered. They treated us very well.”

Samaritan’s Purse reported in December 2014: “Temuujin’s mom shares how much he is growing lately and is constantly learning new things. Before surgery, he almost never left his ger (round, traditional tent-like structure Mongolians live in) and now he is an active, healthy child. Temuujin’s parents do not worry like they used to for his health as he is healed. His sisters attend school, so he is often begging his mom to play with him.  Some of his favorite toys are cars, stuffed animals, cards, chess, and a Mongolian game with sheep ankle bones.  He helps his father with the sheep, goats, horses, and cows they have.  Next school year he will start kindergarten.  His mother wanted to be sure to tell The Hospital for Sick Children thank you and love you.”    



The photos of Amraa and his mother, Otgontsetseg (right), and Temuujin and his mother, Batchimeg, wearing traditional costumes from Mongolia, were taken in March 2013, after the boys’ post-surgery visit at SickKids.