Hoaxes & Rumors

Heart Surgery Boy on Facebook: Happy Ending

Heart Surgery Boy on Facebook: Happy Ending

A heavily shared photo on Facebook in recent years is that of a child in a hospital bed, drowning in a sea of bandages and tubes, and apparently suffering from a heart condition. The photo has been shared in hopes of raising money for the child. Is this photo real or fake?

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The photo is old and the child is not in need of health care.

Let’s first take a look at what is being shared. A common caption for the photo reads:


Plz share….. Heart surgery free of cost for children
(0-10 Yrs) It might save some1’s life…!
Sharing takes a second…
in bangalore INDIA

More than likes, sharing can help !

Who is the child in this photo, is it real or fake, and when was it taken?

The short answer: This is a photo of a child recovering from surgery in 2008 in Odessa, Ukraine – not India.

In reading the comments for the photo, we find that most readers have the misconception that the child in the photo is in need of immediate medical care. Such comments as “I will pray for him” or “this breaks my heart” are scattered throughout. Thankfully, those comments are not warranted. The photo was posted in 2008 as part of the Chernobyl Children’s Project International. The photo is not of a dying child awaiting a new heart, but of a recovering child whose life had just been saved by the efforts of this project. This child was one of 15 who received free, life-saving heart surgery in Odessa, Ukraine. The medical care was provided by volunteers.

Rather than a desperate plea for help, the photo is actually that of a recovering child after a wonderful gift of free health care. If you still want to help this project, their website linked above has a link to their donation page.

Bottom Line

The photo of a heart surgery child is old and the caption often contains erroneous information. The child in the photo already received the required surgery.

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