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Free Heart Surgery for Children – Facebook Share

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Message circulating on Facebook claims that free of cost heart surgery for children is available at a Bangalore hospital and that users should share the post to help spread the word. 

Brief Analysis

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, the medical facility mentioned in the message, does offer totally free medical care for both adults and children for not just heart surgery but other medical specialties as well. The free medical care offered at the Institute is in no way reliant on how many times the Facebook message is shared. The photograph of a hospitalized child that comes with the message was taken from an article published in 2008 and has no connection whatsoever to the Sri Sathya Sai Institute.

Example

I NEED AT LEAST 100 SHARES.

Plz share….. Heart surgery free of cost for children
(0-10 Yrs) Ph : 080-28411500 It might save some1’s life…!
Sharing takes a second…
… in bangalore INDIA
More than likes, sharing can help !

Free Heart Surgery Children Facebook Post

 

Detailed Analysis

This message, which is circulating rapidly around Facebook, claims that children can receive free of cost heart surgery at a facility in Bangalore, India.

Although it does not specifically name the facility offering the free treatment, the message does include a phone number for it. The message urges users to share the post in the hope that the information might save lives. The message also includes a photograph of a young child in a hospital bed. 

The hospital referenced in the message does exist and it does indeed offer free medical care. The phone number listed in the message belongs to the Whitefield, Bangalore branch of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. The Bangalore based hospital is one of several operated by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. The hospitals offer “world-class healthcare to all totally free of charge”. This free medical care is available to both children and adults and covers many kinds of treatment including heart surgery.

The treatment is free to all and, of course, is in no way reliant on how many times the Facebook message is shared. The wording of the message ( I NEED AT LEAST 100 SHARES) has been misinterpreted by some as suggesting that the free surgery is only available to sick children if the information is shared a specific number of times. This is, of course, nonsense.

Moreover, the photograph of the hospitalized child that accompanies later versions of the message has no connection whatsoever to Sathya Sai Institute. In fact, the photograph was taken from an article published on the Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) website in September 2008. The child in the photograph is one of fifteen children treated by a volunteer surgical team during a cardiac surgery mission to Ukraine in August 2008.

Story Research by Steve Williamson and Brett Christensen



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer