Open Heart Review – Hope in the Dimmest of Places

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Open Heart,” from HBO Pictures and Producer Abigail Disney, follows eight children diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease as they travel from remote Rwanda to the Sudan to receive high risk life saving medical treatment.

“Open Heart,” an Oscar nominated short from director Kief Davidson and Urban Landscapes Film, in association with Whitewater Films and Believe Media documentary, weaves the tale of two realities, that of the Rwanda’s 13million children diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease, the limited medical treatment available and the miracle of life in the desert.

“Open Heart,” begins in Kigali, Rwanda, with Dr.  Emmanuel Rusingiza, a Pediatric Cardiologist at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali, explaining his is one of two physicians and the only pediatric cardiologist working the public hospital and travels to the state-of-the-art Salam Center in the Sudan where we meet Dr. Gino Strada, the head surgeon of “Emergency” as the cardio unit is named.

A century ago Rheumatic Heart Disease was the number one killer of children in the United States; today, the infant/child mortality rate for an American child is at 0%. In Rwanda, approximately 13million children are presently affected and the infant/child mortality rate increases daily.

New cases are diagnosed annually and without Penicillin or any other antibiotics to the treat Strep Throat, which is the primary cause, the only hope for the children is heart surgery which is costly and unavailable in any hospital in the country.

There is only one hospital on the African continent that performs open heart surgeries and that is the Salam Center in the Sudan. “Open Heart,” documents eight of the most severe cases who will not survive without surgery and introduces a program that funds surgeries for these children.

We are given a glimpse into the lives of both patient and parent as Dr. Rusingiza explains the children are determined on a case by case basis; those in advanced stages are selected.

He also explains the child will travel alone to the hospital as there is only enough funding to support the children. If the child dies while in the Sudan, the parent is informed at intake, the child will be buried there. The child cannot return to his home country. Parents must agree to these terms in order for their child to receive the high risk medical procedure.

Many of the parents are not even sure where the Sudan is located, as they gather at the Airport, holding their children for what may very well be that last time. The children, range from a three year old to a nineteen year old, will be gone for at least two months, barring any complications, longer if additional medical care is necessary.

Dr. Gino explains throughout the film that Universal Health Care is a right and for children of Rwanda the level of that is an antibiotic if it is available.

Emergency, under Dr. Gino's leadership initially performed 1500 surgeries and as he describes, is now facing financial problems. The Salam Center is funded by Emergency’s private donors 75% and the government of Sudan 25%. Devaluation of Sudanese currency dramatically cut emergency’s budget.

The state of the art medical facility is located in the Sudan, Africa’s largest nation with nine neighboring countries which make it an ideal location to provide lifesaving medical treatment for as many as possible.

“Open Heart” documents the surgeries, with graphic images of a heart bypass, including exposing the enlarged and beating heart. The children all survive their surgeries with one complication. A tearful reunion at the Rwandan airport, six weeks later, for Marie and her father, who kisses the ground as his daughter walk through the gates.

“Open Heart” is a love story of life that blooms in the strangest of places.

“Open Heart” can be seen on HBO. Check your local listings.

 

Haute Tease

  • Zodiac - A Haunting Suspense Thriller From David Fincher

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Zodiac, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros film, a haunting true life murder mystery thriller, is frighteningly consuming and delivers, with every passing minute, heightened engrossing suspense. 

     
  • World News: Heat Wave Disrupts French Government

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The heat wave that is currently raging in France also questions the adaptability of a modern country in the face of climate change. France, and the countries of the world, will necessarily face and manage a precipitous change.

     
  • UPDATED: Death Toll in Indonesia Tsunami Continues to Rise, Thousands Injured, Missing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption on a remote island in Indonesia swept across the beaches of Banten mangling concreate, ripping homes, hotels off their foundations and killing more than 400 and injuring more than 1500.

     
  • Janays Herbal Products Review - Taking Hollywood by Storm

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Janay's Herbal Products, a rising name in the herbal products industry, contains only herbs, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and has is credited with considerable research and development in the organic world. 

     
  • Celebrity Photos: Joel Edgerton, Lucy Liu, Daisy Ridley, Parker Sawyers Announce Medalists at 2016 Student Academy Awards®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 43rd Student Academy Awards® ceremony, held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. 

     
  • Op/Ed: Call Me, Harvey. I’ll Defend You – Millionaire Madam Lawyer, Norm Pattis, Offers a Different Opinion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Not since Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm sitting across a diner’s table from Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally”  have we seen such disingenuous huffing and puffing about sex from Hollywood.

     
  • WHY HIM Review - Hysterical, LOL, A Silicon Valley Comedic Romp

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WHY HIM, from Twentieth Century Fox Films and TSG Entertainment, brings to the screen a laugh out loud comedic romp through Silicon Valley and the new age world of tech apps, platforms, coding, and the over the top creative extravagances.

     
  • New Four-Week Cocktail Competition Begin at The Wellesbourne, A Los Angeles Hidden Gem

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The ultimate libation challenge begins as the English-inspired bar launches a brand-new 4-week mixology competition series, "The Wellesbourne Classic" sponsored by Patrón Tequila. The competition seeks bartenders at the forefront of cocktail artistry and are imaginative with pairing ingredients.  

  • Sugarspun Drops New Single "Will it Be This Way Forever" October

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Indie Rock band Sugarspun, a five piece hailing from the North West of England, bring the sound of the 60's Faces and 90's Oasis and The Verve, right into the here and now with the upcoming October release.

     
  • BREAKING: TORSO IDENTIFIED AS MISSING JOURNALIST; Did Kim Wall Encounter a Danish Ted Bundy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Medical Examiners have positively identified the dismembered torso as that of missing journalist Kim Wall, last seen August 10, 2017 standing in the tower with Danish Inventor Peter Madsen aboard his self-constructed submarine, Nautilus. 

     
  • The Intruder Review - Flawless Direction, Strong Performances, Gripping Suspense

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Intruder, from Screen Gems, presents the story of an unhealthy obsession and a damaged mind as it manifests in three lives with a gripping, intertwining, inability to let go that culminates in a fight to the death.

     
  • iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia now shipping

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    August 5, 2014 - IK Multimedia, the global technology leader in mobile apps and accessories, today announced it's shipping iRig® Mic HD, the first mobile digital microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. The sequel to IK's popular iRig Mic, iRig Mic HD is the perfect tool for singers, podcasters, online radio broadcasters, journalists, videographers, home studio enthusiasts and anyone else who needs to record high-definition digital audio on the go.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Singapore; Rio Games; ISIS Loses Ground/Belgium/London Attack; Election 2016; Teala Thompson

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama welcomed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the White House as the two celebrated the more than fifty years of cooperation between the two nations which began under the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.

     
  • Five Children, Including Three Toddlers, Among the Dead in Arizona Flash Flood

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A horrific flash flood has left a community devastated after a family escaping the blistering Phoenix heat at a favorite Arizona watering hole died when a pounding thunderstorm upstream sent a wall of water and debris barreling down the gorge.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Israel; Election/VP Debate; SC Playground Shooting; NJ Train Crash/NY Explosion; Jeffrey Katzenberg

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, with his eight-year tenure ending in a little more than thirty days, delivered a powerful eulogy at the funeral of former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres who passed away this week. He was 94.