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Feb 16, 2018

The Gift of Life for four Young Heart Patients

Since its last mission to Belize in 2017, a team of doctors has returned to perform various procedures on four children afflicted with heart disease.  Those operations, facilitated through the Rotary Gift of Life Program, were all successful and the patients are recuperating in ward at the K.H.M.H.   Among them are two infants, Leiny and Geneva. Dr. Jeff Delaney is one of three cardiologists who visit the country biennially to assist with medical treatment of these young kids.

 

Jeff Delaney

Dr. Jeff Delaney, Pediatric Cardiologist

“We come down twice a year and we see kids in a clinic setting and we identify children with heart disease or we see children in follow-up that have already been diagnosed.  But until recently, all of those children, if they needed a procedure or surgery had to get funding to go elsewhere, either in Central America or to the United States to get treated.  But since Karl Heusner has received a cath lab, there are some procedures that we can do locally.  So between our mission and the mission last August, we were able to identify four children that had the right type of heart disease for us to be able to bring the catheters and equipment here and take care of those four children locally here in Belize which gives more kids the opportunities to get treated overall.”

 

Stacey Froemming

Stacey Froemming, First Assistant

“It is heartwarming to see families that are so grateful for the assistance that we can give them and it’s nice to be able to put the skill sets that we’ve learned over time to good use in opportunities like this.  I love coming down here and helping Dr. Delaney do these cases, I think this is our fourth or fifth trip down and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back down every year.  It’s a little bit of work on my end because I have to get vendors to donate products and things like that, but in the long run I think everybody’s happy to contribute and everybody’s happy to be able to be part of a broader scale of what we can do for these patients.”

 

Dr. Jeff Delaney

“So all of the procedures fortunately went very well.  We also have another doctor who’s not here for the interview right now but we brought a cardiac anesthesiologist who worked with the anesthesia team at the Karl Heusner.  All of the children come to the cath lab and they are placed under anesthesia and then we place the catheters into the blood vessels in the leg, one artery and one vein and we thread the catheters up through the body to place where this blood vessel is.  We take pictures of it with the x-ray cameras and the contrast dye and that tells us which of our devices will fill that blood vessel, close it completely and not interfere with any of the adjacent structures and blood vessels.”

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