Progress on our project in Nicaragua has two successes to report. The new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua is virtually completed now, with inside walls being painted in December, 2012. The coming months will see the acquisition and installation of modern hospital equipment to bring one of the two operating rooms and half of the facility to a ready-for-occupancy status for the targeted opening in spring of 2013. The role that our GlobalGiving donors are playing in this equipping and supplying stage is impressive. You have been with us from the early stages of construction, and you have supported our medical missions along with way, as the local team has increased in expertise and confidence in the complex procedures necessary for pediatric cardiac surgery. For that, we thank you, but there is more to be done if we are to succeed with the 2013 opening of the new Center.
The other success to be reported is the completion of our latest medical mission, led by Dr. Dominique Metras, a noted Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon from Marseille, France, and his truly international team. Dr. Metras gathered a team of colleagues from France (Paris, Marseille, and Bordeaux), Jerusalem, and Colombia to convene at La Mascota Children's Hospital in Managua. Dr. Metras reported smooth communication because a number of team members spoke fluent Spanish.
Surgery was performed on nine little patients (a tenth patient could not be accommodated for lack of the right equipment), five little girls and four little boys, ranging in age from nine months to 12 years. Because the local team has achieved a high leven of competency, the local staff surgeons at La Mascota led the surgery, and the visiting team collaborated and advised. This achievement is tremendous leap ahead in our program in Nicaragua.
Because of Hurricane Sandy, our team from Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York needed to reschedule its mission from November to February, 2013. They are all ready to go and eager to contribute their expertise in collaboration with the local team. This will be their first mission with Surgeons of Hope Foundation.
Remember that this progress is substantially supported by you, our GlobalGiving donors. Please remain with us as the active supporters and friends that you are, and let your friends know about us. We are a very small office in New York, with no budget allocation for public relations, so it is largely up to you to help us spread the word in conversation, and by Facebook and Twitter. There will be more positive news from us throughout 2013, so stay with us.
Grab an opportunity now to help us continue our momentum. Here is why you should read this and send a donation our way. If you make a donation on Wednesday, October 17, Global Giving will match your donation to our project by 30%! It is Global Giving Matching Day. Your donated dollars will work harder and go further toward our goal of providing desperately needed heart surgery to the poor children of Nicaragua.
Now, some news to let you know how we are doing with our project, having put your past donations to good use.
Our July, 2012, surgical mission provided 10 children with open heart surgery to repair their hearts. A volunteer team of doctors and nurses traveled from Children's Hospital of Colorado, with our President, Eduardo da Cruz, MD, who is Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Care at that hospital. All 10 children are well on the road to full recovery now and enjoying their lives as children with healthy hearts.
This week, a surgical team will travel from France (headed by renowned heart surgeon, Dominique Metras, MD, pictured in this report) to La Mascota Children's Hospital in Managua to operate on 10 more children while training the local team, all sponsored by Surgeons of Hope. Additional team members are traveling from Colombia and Israel to join the team, a truly international team. Our mission will be the subject of a film being prepared by Edwards LifeSciences in California, to celebrate our humanitarian actions in Managua.
In early November, a volunteer medical team will travel from Mt. Sinai Children's Hospital in New York City to La Mascota to continue the great work we are doing. A future report will let you know their experience.
Construction of our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua will be completed in December, 2012, with opening in the spring of 2013. That new operating and training center will draw patients and medical professionals from throughout the region. Our work now is to equip and supply the new center to ready it for opening. No donation is too small (or too large) to help in that worthwhile effort.
Please join in the momentum. Send a donation our way on Wednesday, October 17.
Thanks to all of you Global Giving Donors!
This past week had several highlights, all connected with Surgeons of Hope's mission program to provide progress in life saving surgery in three ways: to cure (the immediate benefit), to train (knowledge for future use) and to build (quality infrastructure for sustainable progress).
Thanks to the dedication of an 11-member volunteer mission team from Children's Hospital Colorado, ten children with congenital heart problems received life-altering operations. Mission team leaders Eduardo da Cruz, MD, Cardiologist, and James Jaggers, MD, Cardiac Surgeon, collaborated with local doctors and medical professionals to accomplish the surgeries. For this mission, they were accompanied by a medical technician who made necessary equipment repairs as the need arose. The experienced team was further bolstered by the presence of many returning nursing specialists, anesthetist, and perfusionist, all dedicated to contributing to the mission's success.
This mission coincided with the 30th anniversary of the opening of La Mascota Children's Hospital, a public hospital which has been the site of Surgeons of Hope's mission program since late 2008. Having brought giant strides of progress to La Mascota, it was fitting that Surgeons of Hope's team was there for the celebration. But much still needs to be done.
Progress continues on construction of the new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua which will see the introduction of telemedicine capability, an advance in technology that will connect this new Center with the world of training and diagnostic capability throughout the region. The walls and roof have taken shape on the important new building which will stand adjacent to the present La Mascota and offer two operating rooms, intensive care unit, a catheterization lab, radiology room, pharmacy, and other features. Surgeons of Hope is working hard to equip and supply this new Center as a focus of 2012-13. When it is operational, the new Center will accomplish 300 surgeries each year and go a very long way toward bringing an equal opportunity for heart surgery to the poor children in a very poor country.
Philippe Lerch, Regional Director of Surgeons of Hope's Nicaragua Program, commented this week, "This mission was one of the most successful we have had so far. The [Pediatric Heart] Center is impressive."
If you have been following our progress right along, you will celebrate with us these tremendous accomplishments and the selfless dedication of our surgeons, cardiac specialists, and nurses who have repeatedly traveled to Nicaragua to further our mission program. Commenting this week, Dr. Jaggers praised the local surgeons for their professional competence and strengths in a collaborative setting.
There is more to be done, of course. Our Global Giving community stands with us, we know. This mission, the doctors had no access to ordinary scales in their operating facilities, so that they needed to guess the weights of their little patients in order to administer the correct anesthesia and dosages. We continue to work every day to fill in these gaps and to provide for the larger needs, too. That's where our Global Giving community can help us.
Thank you for all that you have done for us. Our appreciation is heartfelt. Keep our program in your thoughts and join us in celebrating this week's progress.
Mother's Day is fast approaching (May 13). We have a way for you to honor her this year. Why not give the gift of generosity? Make a contribution on your mother's behalf to help save a child's life and bring unspeakable joy to that child's mother! By giving to our project in your mother's name, you and she will help to overcome gaps in access to health care in a developing country.
Thanks to Global Giving, you can make a donaton in your mother's name to either of our two projects leading up to Mother's Day. Global Giving will send her an e-card or a print-at-home card, making your donation to Surgeons of Hope the perfect Mothers' Day gift.
Contribute on your mother's behalf using this link which will open our gift card page at Global Giving:
As an update, our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua is taking shape as the walls grow higher during construction. We are now working to secure funding for equipping the new Center with the latest in modern surgical equipment for the two operating rooms, the Intensive Care Unit, the medical ward and the outpatient area. Installation of telemedicine capabilities will mean that training and consultations, linking the best children's hospitals in the developed world with La Mascota, will be an everyday fact. Our surgical training missions are continuing and local hospital staff are continuing their advanced studies, all thanks to Surgeons of Hope and the local health ministry.
There is one child, however, who cannot wait for her surgery as her heart condition is calling for immediate action. So, little Camila (2 years of age) will be traveling all the way from Nicaragua to New York City to receive her heart operation at New York Presbyterian Hospital in the coming weeks. Surgeons of Hope is supporting her trip. Your contribution in your mother's honor can help with that special project, as well as helping to continue our regular all-volunteer missions.
GlobalGiving Will Match Your Donation on March 14!
The walls are going up on the new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua and Surgeons of Hope is turning our attention to finding the sophisticated modern medical equipment and supplies to make the new Center function as an extraordinary state-of-the-art facility. Our next surgical missions for 2012 are being assembled as training elements continue, all timed to be ready for the Center’s grand opening in early 2013. It is a lot of work for a small foundation. You have contributed in the past year by helping to bring delicate heart surgery to the poor young children who patiently await help from our surgeons, teamed with the local medical staff at La Mascota Children’s Hospital in Managua. How important your help has been to us and to the children.
Every step we take contributes toward the realization of the success of the new Heart Center as a surgical and learning center for the region. The children we have helped and that you have helped will be invited to join with us to celebrate the opening of this new era in pediatric cardiac care in Central America.
Throughout 2012, Surgeons of Hope Foundation will, of course, continue with surgical training missions during which we select children from the waiting list and provide heart surgery to them free of charge, with your help and the help of others like you who see that generosity can bring exponential benefit.
On Wednesday, March 14, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project! $50,000 is available in matching funds, but only on March 14. Once these matching funds are used, no more matching funds will be applied. Therefore, if you intend to give, please plan to give early in the day, The Bonus Day offer begins at 12:01 AM on March 14 and continues all day, until the matching funds run out. In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the mostfunds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors!
Please donate to our project, Healing Children’s Hearts in Nicaragua and Haiti, and support the children awaiting heart surgery! Your help is urgently needed and much appreciated by Surgeons of Hope and by the children we help!
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