We mend hearts, regardless of race, religion, gender or nationality

Mission Statement

Save a Child’s Heart Foundation saves lives by improving the quality and accessibility of cardiac care for children. Through our programs in Israel, we provide life-saving cardiac treatment to children from developing countries and train health care professionals from these countries to have the skills to deliver quality care in their home communities.

Save a Child’s Heart Foundation Canada was founded in Toronto in 1999 by the late A. Ephraim “Eph” Diamond. Our beginnings were small and humble, starting with three Board members. Today the Board boasts 15 Directors on the senior Board, 20 more on the Young Professional Board (founded by Ephraim’s granddaughter, Madison Diamond) and support for our programs in Israel exceeding $1 million annually.

Every day a child from a developing country is saved in the pediatric cardiac surgical unit at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, where the Save a Child’s Heart medical facilities are based. Thousands of children from developing countries are alive today because of a small group of medical professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to perform cardiac surgery and train medical personnel.

Save a Child’s Heart saves children with congenital and acquired heart defects who have almost no chance of surviving to adulthood in their native countries.

We work to multiply the effectiveness of our resources outside of Israel by training medical personnel from developing countries. The ultimate goal is to create ‘Centers of Competence’ around the world, which will enable local medical personnel to provide life-saving services on their own. This is a full outreach training program that brings doctors and nurses to Israel for in-depth, post graduate training; we also send staff overseas to provide this education to local medical professionals, as well as to perform surgeries side-by-side with them.

To date, Save a Child's Heart have saved the lives of more than 4,500 children from 57 countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and throughout the Middle East and trained more than 110 medical team members from these countries.

Save a Child's Heart Foundation is a registered Canadian charity: BN 88203 2725 RR0001

Our Logo

A patient’s drawing became the inspiration behind the Save a Child’s Heart logo.

Shortly after Save a Child’s Heart began, a four-year old girl named Katya arrived from Moldova with very serious heart defects. She was near death and her body was deep blue due to the lack of oxygen. Some five months and four highly complicated surgeries later, Katya was ready to go home. Before she left, she drew a picture of a hand holding a little girl with a heart. When asked to explain, she told her doctor:

“I had a dream, there were many colors over my bed, then a very big hand came in the middle of the night. We flew to a far-off country and they gave me a new heart, and I could run and dance.” – Katya

Dr. Ami Cohen

Save a Child's Heart exists today because of the vision, passion, and boundless energy of the late Dr. Amram "Ami" Cohen, an excellent surgeon, an inspiring leader, and a warm and caring person. Ami immigrated to Israel from the United States in 1992. He joined the staff of the Wolfson Medical Center and served as the Deputy Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and Head of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, under the direction and mentorship of Prof. Arieh Schachner, the then head of the cardio-thoracic department. Save a Child’s Heart came into being in 1995 when an Ethiopian doctor contacted Dr. Cohen after being referred to him by a mutual friend at the University of Massachusetts. He asked for Dr. Cohen’s help with two children in desperate need of heart surgery and Dr. Cohen received the approval and support of Prof. Schachner to commence with this project. Ami died in a tragic accident while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August of 2001. The goals that he lived for are being carried on by the organization he so successfully created. This is a most fitting memorial to his uniquely productive life. “I am convinced that for the vast majority of people who chose cardio- thoracic surgery as a profession, idealism was initially a strong factor. For those of you who are reading this and just starting out, hold fast to your ‘day after-vision’ because, if it fades, despite all the skills acquired, there will be something missing. For those who are searching, join us and together let us make the network to help children with heart disease globally big enough to be equal to the task. There is work for everybody. There are no dollars and cents in it, but it is worth a fortune.” – Dr. Amram Cohen

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Congenital heart defects are responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defect. Rheumatic heart disease, the most common acquired heart disease, has been all but eradicated in developed countries, yet still kills children and young adults in developing countries.

To date, Save a Child's Heart has provided care to over 4,400 children from 54 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and South America.

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