Timor signs up to Save a Child’s Heart

April 9, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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East Timor Hearts Fund (ETHF) and Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) in Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to fly children with heart disease from Timor-Leste (East Timor) to Israel for life-saving heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Centre.

Former Governor-General SirPeter Cosgrove with Pinto in Dili

ETHF is a volunteer-driven NFP focused on saving lives in Timor-Leste by providing life-saving heart surgery, heart healthcare capacity building and heart disease prevention in Timor-Leste.

David Marlow, CEO of ETHF stated, “We are delighted to be able to expand our options for paediatric heart surgery through this relationship with Save a Child’s Heart.  What could be better than saving young lives?  And SACH is well known for their wonderful work in providing surgery for children from many parts of the world.”
“Timor-Leste has one of the highest rates of rheumatic heart disease in the world, with limited options for heart healthcare.  We are working increasingly on capacity building locally and disease prevention programs, but surgery is the only option for some patients.”
We always have a potential list, but we need to get our paediatric cardiologist into Timor-Leste to confirm surgical candidates, and between COVID and now the floods, we can’t do that.  Once COVID settles down and flights are more easily available, I expect we will start to send patients either later this year or early in 2022.  In the meantime, we are monitoring children through online cardiac screening clinics run by our volunteer paediatric cardiologist Dr Ari Horton, a past student of Bialik College.

David Marlow with patients in Timor

We will be flying over at least two patients per trip, with a parent or guardian each, and a Tetum speaking nurse/escort to help provide support and interpreting capability.

We pay for the flights as well as some costs to SACH.  SACH provide the surgery and accommodation at SACH Children’s Home in Israel.  Each child’s surgery will cost East Timor Hearts Fund about $25,000.  We are very appreciative of this partnership with SACH.
This has been made possible with substantial seed funding by the very supportive and kind David and Bindy Koadlow.  They will cover half the costs of sending two children over for life-saving heart surgery.  We hope to ultimately send six children to SACH annually.
Doron Lazarus, National CEO Save Child’s Heart Australia added: “We are delighted to be working with East Timor Hearts Fund, further expanding our global mission to provide life-saving treatment to children suffering from heart disease, who do not have access to the critical care they need.  Our team at Save A Child’s Heart in Israel, as part of the Wolfson Medical Centre, look forward to welcoming these young patients from Timor, providing them a chance at a healthy future. Currently, SACH in Israel is working with over 60 countries.”

Anyone wanting to help fund the provision of life-saving heart surgery in Israel for Timorese children can donate at https://easttimorheartsfund.org.au/get-involved/#make_a_donation

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