Skip to main content.

Have a Heart for Marcela

Donate to Share Hope


Marcela’s journey began on her birthdate, December 31, 2020.

The journey has been extremely difficult for this Guatemalan family. In May 2021, Food for the Poor received a video displaying a five-month-old baby, Marcela, born with her heart outside of her body.


Isabel and Edgar, Marcela’s parents were told by their doctor’s that there was not any kind of heart procedure that they could perform on their daughter since this is a very complex heart surgery requiring the expertise of thoracic surgeon. They were informed that there was not any doctor qualified to do the surgery in all of Guatemala to save their precious daughter’s life. Their only hope would be to go the United States to have this difficult type of surgery performed on Marcela’s heart. Marcela was born with a condition called Ectopia Cordis.  Ectopia cordis is a rare condition where a baby’s heart is located either partially or totally outside the chest. Only 8 out of 1 million babies are born with ectopia cordis, and 90% of these babies are either stillborn or die within the first three days outside of the womb. 

But Marcela is a living and breathing miracle as she continues to grow and develop normally. But the doctors fear complications and imminent demise if the surgery is not done with urgency.

We reached out to Boston Children’s Hospital knowing that they are the top cardiac hospital for children in the United States, particularly Dr. Sitaram Emani, Director of Complex Biventricular Repair Program. In 2016, Dr. Emani successfully performed baby Capree’s nine-hour open heart surgery saving her life. Capree was a baby from Jamaica that Food for the Poor sponsored and fundraised for her heart surgery.   Evaluating all of Marcela’s records, diagnostics and assessments, Dr. Emani and the team of doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital deemed Marcela a good candidate to receive biventricular repair surgery. The doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital also determined that they will most likely need to perform a two staged surgery to save her life.  Boston Children’s Hospital has graciously offered to perform Marcela’s necessary heart surgeries and provided the family with a tremendous discount, but the cost is still not within their ability to pay.   Marcela’s heart will not be able to survive much longer unprotected outside of her body and we are in a desperate race to raise the necessary funding.   Boston Children’s Hospital will not perform the necessary lifesaving surgery until her bill is paid in full and TIME is NOT on our side.

We want to thank you for any donation you can send to save Marcela’s life.  Your donation will provide a tremendous ray of HOPE for this family.  This child is a miracle and God has a plan and purpose for her life!

Thank you for being an Angel and a Blessing.


Prefer to send a check?

Donating online is fast, easy, and totally secure. If you would prefer to send a check please print and complete this form and mail it to:

Food For The Poor Inc.

6401 Lyons Road

Coconut Creek, FL 33073

Write on the check's memo line SC 149008 to ensure proper tracking.