Children from Mongolia who received life-saving heart surgeries in NC now able to return home


After waiting for up to four months, nine kids, ranging in age from one to five, left the Piedmont Triad International Airport for their home in Mongolia.

“It’s so wonderful to go home,” said a mother through an interpreter.

Nine moms will no longer have to worry about the heart conditions of their nine children thanks to the Children’s Heart Project. 

Cindy Bonsall oversees the program that has helped over 1,400 children worldwide.

“It’s amazing to have a project where we can help these children have surgeries that are routine in the United States and have their hearts fixed and then hand them back to their parents whole and healthy and with a chance for a normal life,” Bosnall said.

The Children’s Heart Project is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. 

Kids with heart defects are flown to children’s hospitals across North America to receive life saving surgeries. After a five to six week stay, Samaritan’s Purse flies them back home.

“When he wanted to play with his friends, he couldn’t keep up with them,” said a mother through an interpreter. “Now he can play for 24 hours if someone is available.”

For the nine kids, their mothers and interpreters, COVID-19 hit during the time of their operations. 

So when America and Mongolia closed their borders, the families couldn’t go back home and had to stay with their host families.

“It’s hard to be in another country in a middle of a pandemic and not be able to see your family and not go home,” Bosnall said. “Even after your child is well and ready to go home.”

A mother from Mongolia relied on her new found faith to comfort her as she waited for the borders to open.

“I received Christ as my savior and because I received Christ as my savior, He comforts me. He gave me peace,” the mom said through an interpreter.

Four months is the longest time Michele Nelson has hosted a family. Watching over two kids was an experience she will always hold dear.

“Having this extended longer, it’s been an incredible blessing having them a part of our family,” she said.

Along with taking the families and interpreters back home, Samaritan’s Purse also carried 50 pallets of gloves, masks and other person protective equipment back to Mongolia.

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