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.
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.”
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.
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Gift of Life Stories
This is Tianyou from China; he came in June of 2014. He got his heart repaired and his clubfeet repaired.read more
Gift of Life Mid-South founder Bill Pickens recently won the Invest in Others’ 2015 Global Community Impact Award. Watch the video...read more
A Nigerian official and his son flew home, grateful for the lifesaving, eye-opening health care they received in Memphis. Adewale is a 14-year-old boy from Nigeria, son of a prince and 10th-generation royalty. He has the power to get anything he wants, but he couldn't...read more
News and Updates
View short videos on “What to Expect in Memphis”. Spanish Version and English Version.