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Review for Foundation For International Cardiovascular Services Inc. Nfp, Wilmette, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

7 PATIENTS RECEIVE FREE HEART SURGERY AND PACEMAKERS WORTH OVER $100,000 USD It was 8 am on Tuesday morning, March 30th, 2010 as I walked into the surgical theatre for the first time in my life; I had the most awesome feeling inside me that in the next two days, we were going to do something unbelievable. Dr. Patel, Dr. Gikonyo, Karen Hospital, and Dr. Nyamu, Nairobi Hospital were ready to “Save Lives in Kenya” As I scrubbed in and put on my sanitized shoes, that is when I realized we are actually in a Cath Lab, the name for heart surgery theatre. As I put on my scrubs and began to enter the theatre the chills were going up my spine as I watched the first patient being wheeled into the surgical theatre. I watched Dr. Patel check the patients before surgery and I even had a chance to speak with the patients myself. They all expressed extreme gratitude to Dr. Patel and were extremely confident that Dr. Patel was going to take care of their sickness. It was here that I began to realize the magnitude of what services Global FICS was providing. Some patients were so critically ill that the doctors were not sure if they would make it through the night. Some, due to lack of money, should have had the surgery years ago. One patient, Father Victor, was so critically ill, and so young, that a $25,000 pacemaker, the Cadillac of pacemakers, was installed into him by Dr. Patel. All pacemakers, 7 in all, were donated by Medtronic and the procedures were assisted by Wendy Watton, a Medtronic Specialist who flew in from South Africa to assist Dr. Patel. Over the next three days I watched surgery after surgery. I watched a man with massive heart failure actually die on the table but due to the great work of Dr. Patel and Dr. Gikonyo, he was brought back to life and is doing well. I watched a patient waiting in the ward for surgeries get rushed in ahead of the others because he was having another heart attack. I watched a 49 year old woman who had two previous heart attacks and actually needed the surgery two years ago, undergo five hours of surgery. All 7 patients recovered fine and were discharged the next day, including Jacinta, the lady who underwent five hours of surgery because her condition was extremely poor. Yet they still have a long road to recovery, and Global FICS, in conjunction with the Kenyan doctors, will continue to monitor their progress over the next few years. Each patient comes from a poor background and could never afford the procedures without the support of Global FICS and the Heart 2 Heart Foundation in Kenya. Most patients in Kenya with heart disease cannot access treatment and therefore, they simply die waiting for a miracle. Global FICS donated 6 pacemakers including, 2 ICD’s valued at $10,000 each, 2 CRTD’s valued at $40,000 each and 2 CRT’s valued at $25,000 each. The last patient had his device, which Dr. Patel installed in 2009, repositioned so there was no need to donate a new pacemaker. “God bless Dr. Patel for coming here and saving lives. I don’t know what we would do without him.” Jacinta Gehecha, 49 (suffered two heart attacks and has waited two years for surgery) DR. PATEL TRAINS LOCAL CARDIOLOGISTS Well known in Kenya for his training ability, Dr. Patel, who also runs the Cardiac Fellowship Program at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL, always attracts all the leading cardiologists in Kenya. Training was conducted throughout the three days of surgeries, including training for local students. The mission of Global FICS is to improve the skills of local physicians and surgeons so that Kenya does not have to rely on doctors from the West to fill the void left by the lack of qualified physicians. As Kenya and the rest of Africa develop, heart disease is fast becoming a major problem. 200,000 patients in Kenya alone are diagnosed with heart problems each year. Kenya only has five cardiologists and only three facilities have the capacity to do the heart surgeries. On the other hand, most patients cannot afford the services and consequently they are literally left out in the cold. “The problem is volume. Surgeons need to practice their skill on a daily basis otherwise they will never reach their potential. I have been doing this daily for seven years, but here in Kenya, the cardiologist do not have a chance to work so they end up leaving the country and making more money. So our program has a dual purpose, to provide free heart surgeries, but also, to train Kenyan cardiologist. In order to train them, they need to practice and to practice, you need patients. So our goal is to get as many charity patients, and there are hundreds, including children, on the waiting list, into the hospitals so the local doctors can upgrade their skills.” Dr. Parag V. Patel 88 GIRLS IN THE SLUMS RECEIVE MEDICAL CARE AND VISIT FROM GLOBAL GIVING Dr. Rupa Patel visited the Hawkers Market Girls Center and the Kibera Girls Center where she attended to 88 girls between the ages of 18 – 22. All these girls live in the slums and lack all basic healthcare needs and treatment. Donations included medicines, bandages, women’s hygiene supplies, antiseptics, gauze, gloves and much more. A local nurse was trained to by Dr. Patel and will be visiting the centers each week to follow up on the girls. Dr. Rupa gave each girl a check up and screening. She talked to the girls about health care; she took their blood pressure and prescribed medicines for headaches, stomach cramps, rashes, allergies and other ailments. Supplies will last six months and the visiting nurse will prescribe new medications. Global Giving representative, Marc Maxson also visited the girls and they will be working as volunteers for Global Giving, getting surveys in the slums to find out how effective programs really are. In all, the girls had one of the best days of their life. The goal of the program is to empower the girls and provide job skills so they can better secure their futures. With the addition of the Global Giving program, now the girls are going to get real life job experience working for a major NGO. “We are truly grateful and pray that every year we will have the benefit of their (Global FICS) help.”. Shariffa Keshavjee, Director, Girl Guides Association of Kenya (Girl Scouts) OVER $25,000 WORTH OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT DONATED TO MISSION HOSPITAL Melchizedek Mission Hospital located in Nairobi and supported by TD Jakes Ministries in Dallas, Texas, services a community of over 800,000 people in the slums of Nairobi. There is a severe shortage of medical facilities and even greater shortage of trained physicians. Global FICS donated over $25,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies courtesy of the Advocate Health Group in Illinois. Supplies included 2 baby warmers, EKG machine, Ultrasound machine, 3 patient monitors, various general supplies like syringes and bandages and assorted surgical supplies. TD Jakes Ministries donated a full surgical theatre, which will be the only fully servicing surgical theatre to service the slum communities. We will also provide biomedical engineers, nurses and visiting physicians to train the staff at Melchizedek on usage and maintenance of the new equipment and also provide “hands on” assistance in year round training, medical camps and surgical procedures. “We service the poorest communities so we have to keep our services affordable and keep our quality high. The donations from Global FICS, and our future cooperation, will greatly enhance our ability to service the 800,000 people in the neighboring slums. This is the second largest slum in Kenya, only behind Kibera.” Simon Ngechu, CEO, Melchizedek Hospital 120 GIRLS IN SLUMS GET EMPOWERED THROUGH BASKETBALL Dr. Auma Obama and Care International are partnering with Global FICS to provide medical treatment to 120 girls ages 5 – 18 in a basketball training program. Although the focus is basketball, the program boosts self-esteem and instills confidence in these girls who live in the slums of Nairobi. Nurses will visit weekly and first aid kits will be provided for the participants. Although we will focus on sports related injuries, we will also cater to the basic health needs including hygiene, HIV and other diseases which infest the slums of Nairobi. The girls are empowered because they own the program. They are disciplined and well structured, but most of all, they are enjoying themselves. The basketball court becomes their way out of the congested slums which surround them. “Many girls do not have shoes or basic items. But they get encouraged through basketball. They are empowered because they own the program. The program belongs to the girls.” Dr. Auma Obama Care International Sports for Social Change HOW TO HELP Make a check payable to: Global FICS Mail to: 1010 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, IL 60091 WATCH US ON K24, A KENYAN TV STATION CHECK US OUT ON YOUTUBE – Videos of surgeries, interviews and much more. JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!/pages/Global-FICS-Foundation-for-International-Cardiovascular-Services/236549249923?ref=ts THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT Thank you for supporting our mission services in Kenya. Due to your contributions we are able to help hundreds of girls and young women in the slums of Kenya. Girls, who otherwise would not receive medical treatment, now have access to proper and quality healthcare assistance. Your donation is literally “Saving Lives in Kenya”! Stacy Harris Nairobi, Kenya Program Coordinator PO Box 41669-00100 Global FICS Phone: (011) 254-713-480-736 Email: [email protected]

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improving access to healthcare for poor and needy Kenyans.

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Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Helped organize Global FICS free heart surgeries.