Help Briana Bucico

This is Briana, she is a bright, cute happy and fun-loving three year old girl who desperately needs your help and support.

Briana has been diagnosed with  Ventricular Septal Defect and urgently needs specialist surgery to help her overcome this terrible condition. But thankfully with your generous help, she can get the treatment very soon.

Briana and her family live in Bucharest, Romania where this treatment is only available  privately via a foreign specialist doctor . Agonisingly if she lived in the likes of the UK, America,  Australia or even nearby Austria, she would receive the treatment for free.

How cruel geography can be.

But instead her only hope is private treatment for the heart surgery, the first wave of which will cost over £10,000.

Her family are working desperatly hard to try and raise such a large sum of money and as friends and colleagues of Briana's family, we wanted to try and help this adorable ltitle girl too.

Any support you can give would hugely appreciated by us all and would give her the chance to enjoy the same life that other three year olds in nearby countries can naturally look forward to.

If you'd like to know about her condition, please read below.

Ventricular Septal Defect - What is it?

VSD is a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart.

In normal development, the wall between the chambers closes before the fetus is born, so that by birth, oxygen-rich blood is kept from mixing with the oxygen-poor blood. When the hole does not close, it may cause higher pressure in the heart or reduced oxygen to the body.

How does it affect the heart?

Normally, the left side of the heart only pumps blood to the body, and the heart's right side only pumps blood to the lungs. In a child with VSD, blood can travel across the hole from the left pumping chamber (left ventricle) to the right pumping chamber (right ventricle) and out into the lung arteries. If the VSD is large, the extra blood being pumped into the lung arteries makes the heart and lungs work harder and the lungs can become congested.

How does the VSD affect achild?
The child may breathe faster and harder than normal. Infants may have trouble feeding and growing at a normal rate. Symptoms may not occur until several weeks after birth. High pressure may occur in the blood vessels in the lungs because more blood than normal is being pumped there. Over time this may cause permanent damage to the lung blood vessels.

What can be done about the VSD?

As the opening is large, open-heart surgery is needed to close it and prevent serious problems.. The repair has been delayed as doctors thought. Medicines may be used temporarily to help with symptoms, but they don't cure the VSD or prevent permanent damage to the lung arteries.

Closing a large VSD by open-heart surgery usually is done in infancy or childhood even in patients with few symptoms, to prevent complications later. Usually a patch of fabric or pericardium (the normal lining around the outside of the heart) is sewn over the VSD to close it completely. Later this patch is covered by the normal heart lining tissue and becomes a permanent part of the heart. Some defects can be sewn closed without a patch.

If an infant is very ill, or has more than one VSD or a VSD in an unusual location, a temporary operation to relieve symptoms and high pressure in the lungs may be needed. This procedure (pulmonary artery banding) narrows the pulmonary artery to reduce the blood flow to the lungs. When the child is older, an operation is done to remove the band and fix the VSD with open-heart surgery.
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