Saving Children One Heart at a Time

Who We Are

Gift of Life Mid-South is a Rotary-based project that provides life-saving heart surgery to children from developing countries who can not access the care they need. Now in its tenth year, the program, sponsored by Rotary District 6800, has brought 75 children from 16 countries to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

How It Works

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital provides the necessary medical care for the children. FedExFamilyHouse provides an amazing place for our children and their families to live while in Memphis. Rotary Clubs in District 6800 and a host of volunteers provide support with transportation, meals, and clinic visits. Our guests are treated like family when in Memphis.

Why It Matters

Each year more than five million children are born with congenital heart defects. Only six percent are able to get the care they need. Since 1975 Gift of Life International (GOLI) has helped 18,000 children around the world. There are 73 Rotary clubs involved in GOLI. The Mid-South program is one of only 28 programs in the United States.

Our Stories

Rachel was the first child we helped from Uganda. The very first child that Gift of Life (national) helped in 1975 was Grace Agwaru, and she was from Uganda. Grace helped facilitate Rachel’s coming to Memphis. Rachel is a happy little girl with a full life to live.

“The people of Memphis saved my son’s life and his sight,” said Olanrewaju Abegunde. “My son Adewale is smiling again. He can’t wait to go home and play football.”

Read the rest of Adewale’s story >

Olanrewaju Abegunde

Nigerian prince and great-grandson of a tribal king

Tianyou came from China in June 2014 with a life-threatening heart condition and a severe club foot. The doctors felt that it would be a shame to repair his heart and leave him still unable to walk, so they remolded his feet as well. He now runs and plays with his twin sister.

Read the rest of Tianyou’s story >

Connect on Facebook

Gift of Life Stories

William Law

Thanks to Gift of Life Mid-South, A year after life-saving heart surgery, William Law is enjoying life and experiencing things that most toddlers his age do. .

read more


Terriann is from Gianna. She came to Memphis in January 2013 and made a lot of friends here. After surgery, she went back home and had a party.

read more

News and Updates

View short videos on “What to Expect in Memphis”. Spanish Version and English Version.