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Need to Find a Cardiologist
(who travels to developing nations to work sometimes)

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14 replies to this topic

#1 AngryBird

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

I've recently become aware of Ana's story.

She's six years old, and her family are refugees from the DRC. They live in the Kyangwali refugee camp in Uganda, and they have nothing.

Ana has a heart condition. I saw a photo of her, looking drawn and sick, from a friend who had visited recently, and came to know her story in recent weeks. She's very sick.

She was booked in to see a visiting cardiologist in Kampala, and her family were able to raise the money to travel there and stay a day for her appointment. Unfortunately on that day many others were booked to see the same specialist, and Ana did not make it to the front of the queue.

We raised some money so the family could stay in Kampala a little longer and wait for her to see the cardiologist. Sadly, she never made it to the front of the line and the visiting specialist flew home to the US without seeing her. He returns in May, I think.

Ana will not survive until May without some treatment and medication, neither of which she can afford, and she needs assessment by a specialist to determine what medications she needs. We're happy to continue raising money for her support - but I am desperately trying to find a cardiologist to see her as soon as possible.

I know EB has a collection of people with all kinds of stories and experiences, and I thought maybe someone had known/worked with/heard of a doctor or an organisation who helps provide assessment and treatment for "heart kids" in developing nations?
Any suggestions or contacts at all for this little girl - who, even if she does survive until May - has no guarantee she will reach the front of the waiting line for the specialist when he returns.
It does not have to be a doctor who works specifically in Uganda (those are almost non-existent!) - we will find a way to get her to where she needs to be. Just searching for a doctor or organisation that does do work overseas in developing nations, who might be able to see her soon, or recommend someone local who can.

I know this is a long shot. I know "one does not solve the medical conditions of a dying child by politely asking an Australian doctor to fly to Uganda and operate". And I know there are many many children with similar issues in Africa, who receive no help.

But I know Ana's story. I know Ana's name. And I know her face. I can't NOT do something - and I really don't know who to ask.

#2 sandgropergirl

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

YOu could try referring Ana to the Children First Foundation- this is the work they do. Here is the link http://www.childrenfirstfoundation.com. At the very least you can refer Ana to them directly

good luck

#3 Chelli

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

Please PM the names of specific specialists to the OP as we do not allow discussions or recommendations of medical practitioners on the forums. I will PM the information to the OP from the post I have needed to remove due to this rule.


#4 B.feral3

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:24 AM

I have heard of this particular venture OP as well as others. I know the article is old but it might be another lead. Good luck. I hope she gets the helps she needs and deserves.


THE philosophy behind Operation Open Heart is simple: Help those who most need our help.

And since the mid-'80s, Australian medical teams have done just that.

The program, which is run out of the Sydney Adventist Hospital, has involved teams of medical experts travelling at their own expense to 13 countries in Asia, the south Pacific and Africa where people cannot get access to modern heart surgery.

The aim of the project has always been to provide treatment for patients and to teach those who can treat.

"When we took the first team over and saw the incredible need, it was clear we could not go there only for a service commitment," Dr Alan Gale says of the experience in taking Australian medical teams to work in two hospitals in Myanmar.

"You couldn't go in and operate on only 20 people because there was hundreds there."

Dr Gale said the response from the local medical professionals, who are denied the opportunity to learn the latest techniques because of their restricted access to the internet and limited access to medical journals, was overwhelming.

"The enthusiasm for the acquisition of skills and knowledge is unbelievable," he said.

"Every time one of us gets up to talk, it's a bit like someone in Hyde Park talking about politics. People crowd around and try to absorb as much energy.

"These are highly intelligent, highly motivated people and their surgical dexterity is fantastic.

"It's just that they've never had the opportunity to be taught.

"The country has been arrested in the '60s or '70s level of cardiac surgery performance."

The Brisbane team of medical experts from three hospitals who most recently visited Myanmar in February as part of Operation Open Heart have been nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal in the category of care and compassion.

The team, led by Dr Gale, is: cardiologist Dr Darren Walters, pediatric cardiologist Dr Chris Whight, clinical nurse consultant Cathy Gough, clinical nurse Denise Grant, perfusionist Lynne McKellar, cardiac scientist Belinda Shearer, pediatric surgeon Dr Graham Nunn, pediatric cardiologist Dr Jason Wildschut, biomedical engineer Venerando Leotta.

Some of the team members have been going to Myanmar for four or five years as part of the program.

Along with their time and services, the group takes text books and medical equipment.

The paediatric cardiac surgeon mentioned in this article has performed 2 open heart surgeries on my son. Sadly though, he has since retired.

Edited by Bek+3, 20 February 2013 - 10:46 AM.

#5 B.feral3

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

Blog for Operation Open Heart

#6 ~kuddlebug~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

A friend from school established a medical centre in Uganda and as far as I know they have cardiologists to assist. Might be worth contacting them? They might be able to give you some names. Best of luck to little Ana xx


#7 Soontobegran

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

Good luck with this.
I know a plastic surgeon who travels to Africa to do voluntary surgery, perhaps I could contact him and see if he has any idea?

#8 AngryBird

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

Thankyou everyone - I have contacted each of the suggestions so far by email and will follow up by phone soon. I really appreciate it.

STBG I would really appreciate that if you don't mind, thanks so much!

#9 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

How about contacting Moira Kelly - she has kudos+++. With her amazing track record she can pull rabbits out of hats.  Just google her OP....

#10 Cheryl_v

Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

I have PM'd you

#11 AngryBird

Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:16 PM

Thankyou, each and every person who has replied and offered suggestions.

#12 B.feral3

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:13 PM

Keep us up to date OP. I would love to hear how you get on. Also, can you please tell me where we can read about this little girl. I am a member of private FB group which is an International Congenital Heart Defects community. In the group is a paediatric heart surgeon who works out of the Miami Children's Hospital. He is quite active in the group if people direct questions towards him. Perhaps I could post the link to this little girls story. He may know of a program.

On another note, did you manage to have a look through the blog I posted? I haven't read it all but have flicked through the photos. Seeing pics of those kids and their smiling faces, in less fortunate countries than our own given a second chance at life really warms the soul.  wub.gif

Edited by Bek+3, 20 February 2013 - 07:11 PM.

#13 Kay1

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

I was also coming in to suggest Operation Open Heart. I just heard about them today as my son's school is raising money to sponsor surgery for a child in Cambodia.

All the best OP, I do hope you have some luck and please keep us posted.

#14 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:38 PM

I've worked with children first, I know Moira has helped dozens of international children with heart problems.

#15 Soontobegran

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE (AfroCircus @ 20/02/2013, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
STBG I would really appreciate that if you don't mind, thanks so much!

Strange as it may seem this surgeon has been wanting to 'friend' me on FB for quite some time, I have done so and sent him a PM :-)
He actually brings patients out here too, his work is connected to a specific church but I am not sure which one though.

I also think Moira Kelly is a really valid option, she has quite a slew of contacts.

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