In the Republic of Kiribati, islanders suffer at an early age with heart disease, the result of early-undiagnosed rheumatic fever.
Without help to mend or replace diseased heart valves, many suffer and die in their 20s and 30s.
To save lives and help reduce suffering, highly-regarded cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. David Moore and his team from Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas will travel to isolated Christmas Island (Kiritimati) later this month to see and treat as many heart patients as possible, in a trip sponsored by Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.
Thanks to Dr. Moore and his colleagues at Baylor Heart Hospital, islanders found to be needing urgent life-saving surgery will be treated at the hospital in Plano, Texas.
“We are absolutely thrilled at Dr. Moore and his team will be there to provide care where there is a critical need,” says Carlton Smith, president of Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.
This will be the third time that Baylor Heart Hospital has stepped forward to help those suffering with heart disease in Kiribati, one of the most isolated and medically needy regions of the world, Carlton said.
On this one-week visit November 25 to December 2, he will take with him an ultrasound technician, James Rampoldi, from the Baylor Hospital, and portable equipment to properly diagnose heart patients.
While this will be Dr. Moore‘s first visit to Kiritimati in the Line Islands of Kiribati, he has contributed his skills in the past to perform successful open-heart surgery at Baylor on several patients from the islands needing life-saving help.
“The good-hearted people at Baylor will provide all medical care, but we need to raise funds to bring patients from the Central Pacific islands to Plano and back and provide housing and meals for them while they are in the U.S., Carlton said. On average, it will cost about $2,000 each for round trip airfare, plus another $500 for lodging and meals.
“Please help save precious lives by making a contribution to Pacific Islands Medical Aid and designate the donation for ‘heart patients.’