Thursday, March 31, 2011

Team Heart is looking forward to networking opportunities June 20-22 as we attend the 7th Global Forum in Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Join us in Geneva to hear inspiring discussions and shared experiences. For more information;

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jean Paul-a recent article in the New Times-Kigali's paper

Jean Paul photographed here, February 2011, speaking after he is elected President to head the patient support group.

For complete article, please read:

Jean Paul was first introduced to Team Heart in November of 2007, when he was in receiving antibiotics for endocarditis, a common complication of deformed cardiac valves , secondary to rheumatic heart disease. Too ill to have surgery by the Australian team, we were told, if he survives, maybe the Boston team could do him...... He was the second case done our first year by Brigham and Women's Hospital, Prem Shekar, MD.

The interview...

But in that process I came across Dr Kagame in 2007, who was able to discover my sickness. He wasn’t capable of helping me but directed me to King Faisal Hospital (KFH) for better treatment.“After some tests were carried out, it was discovered that some of my valves had some holes within them and even some parts of my heart were in worse conditions and I had to take several anti-biotic and pain killers before the operation could be carried out,” Iyamuremye recalls.On April 06 2008, a group of Surgeons from Boston carried out cardiovascular operation at KFH and Iyamuremye was among the patients to be operated upon.“It was not easy. Even if I was sick but it sounded strange to me on how it would be carried out since it was an open heart operation. We were approaching the genocide commemoration time so I thought that may be I could go into a coma.“On the exact day of the operation, I had a stream of thoughts that came into my mind but mostly I never thought about how I see my life again after the operation.There was a lady that I met at the hospital who had tested on the cup that I was about to test. She had been operated on in the UK. She encouraged and gave me comfort.After a successful operation Iyamuremye was given an artificial valve that will be helping him the rest of his lifetime alongside a daily dosage of tablets.Touring different departments at KFH, I meet Dr Nathan J. Ruhamya, a Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, in charge of Preventative Treatment and follow up of the of the patients. He is among the team members that carry out the cardiac surgery.A jovial and immensely likeable Ruhamya whom I find at the King Faysal Hospital, sharing jokes with one of the patients, gives an account of the operation.“Many of these diseases that are connected to the cause of the cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. For the inherited diseases, when they are treated at the early stage, people would live longer than the ones who never went for the treatment.He then pulls out a file that carries some statistics of the successful operations they have carried out since 2006 that number to 221 people, including 176 children, 61 adults and 45 trans-cut interventions for children.The operation does not only save people’s lives but also saving huge sums of money that would have been spent on foreign-based surgeries. Ever since they started carrying out cardiovascular operations, they have been able to save more than $2.5 million.The cardiologist noted that these are expensive surgeries that the team has offered to perform for free citing that the visiting group is paying for their own air tickets while government covers their local costs and accommodation.As I turn around, on my extreme right Iyamuremye is counseling and asking the recent operated patients about their health. I come closer to them as I earnestly get to know what they are going through.Jean Damascene Ibambasi, a happy man after the operation in uncontrolled joy runs out of words to tell the story. “God bless President Paul Kagame because of the good relationship with other countries because even before 1994 the Ministry of foreign affairs was there but poor people like me would eventually die of heart complications. God bless KFH with all the partners and every individual who has helped me,” Ibambasi prayed.