Location: New Orleans, La.
When Hartley Doussan was born in Sept. 2010, her parents, Russell and Ashley Tappin-Doussan were devastated to learn that she had two holes in her heart. Thanks to open-heart surgery, the Doussans were able to take a healthy Hartley home. “We couldn’t imagine watching your child die because you couldn’t have a team in place to get her taken care of,” says Russell Doussan, a regional president for Live Nation (No. 392), the events company. He and his wife wanted others to have such happy outcomes, and they decided to help their daughter’s surgeon, who had previously made medical missions to South America and Russia, get the financing to continue his charitable work. In 2011, the couple founded Hartley’s Hearts Foundation, and that October, Doussan flew with a team of doctors to Asuncion, Paraguay, with a goal to fix as many children’s heart defects as they could.
Over the course of the trip, the group performed nine open-heart surgeries and 25 other less invasive procedures. “These parents looked at their child every day as dying. Now they can look at their child as living,” says Doussan. This year, Hartley’s Hearts Foundation will send the team to Asuncion twice: first to pre-screen the most serious patients and to do less invasive procedures, then to perform the open-heart surgeries. In the four years since its inception, the organization has also donated more than $400,000 of medical equipment so that Paraguayan doctors are better resourced to perform such surgeries themselves. But the work is far from over. “Our ultimate dream is for Hartley to run the foundation one day,” says Russell. “She’ll be five in September.”