PIMA’s cardiac team has returned home from Christmas Island in Kiribati after seeing more than 700 patients in just one week and identifying seven who need life-saving heart surgery.
Heart Team Sees 700 Patients
The team, under the leadership of cardiologist Dr. Alistair Fyfe of Cardiology Associates of Dallas, Texas, screened all adolescents attending school on the island, and saw more than 200 adults in their short visit.
Of particular concern are youngsters with heart disease, likely the result of earlier untreated rheumatic fever, Dr. Fyfe said.
Of those requiring heart surgery, one is a ten year old boy with a heart murmur and a recent onset of heart failure; another is a 12 year old boy with an enlarged heart and 16 year old girl who needs surgery as soon as possible, team members said.
“We need to go to work right away to help make arrangements for these patients to come to the U.S. for life-saving care,” said PIMA president Carlton Smith. “Let’s pull out all the stops.”
He said team members who worked tirelessly to screen the patients included Dr. Fyfe, Cardiac Nurse Denni Lozos, R.N., B.S.N., from the Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas; Cardiac Nurse Deanna Holick, R.N., B.S.N. from the Heart Hospital, and ultra-sound technician Beaux Seabury of Cardiology Associates.
“They all gave up their valuable time to come to the island to help, and rank at the top of any list of compassionate volunteers,” Smith said.
“They are great.”