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Our History

Established in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 2017, the Local Heart Foundation has played a vital role in aiding hundreds of pediatric heart patients seeking optimal care at out-of-state cardiovascular surgical centers. Recognizing the financial strain on families during such journeys, including travel, meals, lodging, and high out-of-pocket costs, co-founders Tim Andreas and his wife Tammy, driven by their own touching experience, embarked on a mission to alleviate the financial burdens weighing on families during these critical moments.


In a defining chapter of their lives, Tim's urgent need for a life-saving heart surgery, unattainable in Lake Charles, led them on a journey to Houston, Texas. As Tammy witnessed the profound expenses tied to being away from home, her heart resonated with the struggles other families faced in similar circumstances. Driven by a deep sense of gratitude for their own blessings, Tim and Tammy felt a stirring desire to extend a helping hand to families in their community navigating the emotional and financial strains of ensuring the best care for their cherished family members confronting heart disease.


In 2017, the Local Heart Foundation became a reality, woven together by the threads of community support through fundraising events and local business contributions. Its mission was clear: to ease the financial burdens that hindered families in southwest Louisiana from accessing top-tier pediatric cardiovascular surgical care. The absence of a local pediatric cardiovascular center had previously forced families to embark on lengthy journeys in search of specialized care.


In the relatively brief span of seven years since its inception in 2017, the Local Heart Foundation has made an indelible mark on its heart community and stands as a testament to the profound impact that compassion and community can achieve. From its humble beginnings, the foundation has grown into a lifeline for families. As of January 2024, the foundation continues to thrive, having processed over 345 applications, and provided financial assistance exceeding $525,000.00 to local heart families in need. This remarkable journey serves as a powerful illustration of the transformative power of a united community rallying behind a noble cause.

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Facing congenital heart defects (CHDs), around 1 in 100 newborns in the United States embark on a courageous journey, with approximately 1 in 4 encountering critical challenges. The prospect of life-threatening risks lingers without timely intervention in the first year. When traveling out of state for life-saving heart surgeries, the burden intensifies for CHD families. While insurance often covers hospitalization costs, they contend with additional challenges—out-of-pocket expenses for travel, meals, and hotels. This financial strain amplifies the emotional hurdles they navigate, underscoring the importance of comprehensive support beyond medical care. Every little heart deserves not just medical attention but also understanding and assistance throughout this intricate and heartfelt journey.

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