At home on Christmas Island

Tereere Returns Home Following Surgery

Nineteen year old Tereere Ioane is now home with her mother in Tabwakea Village on Kiritimati in Kiribati after successful open-heart surgery at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

“This is a wonderful outcome, thanks to the great doctors and nurses at Providence, and the leadership of cardiologist Dr. Steven Compton and cardiac anesthesiologist Dr. Kirsten Randall, who have both come to the islands to evaluate patients and arrange for life-saving surgery, said Carlton Smith, president of Pacific Islands Medical Aid.

“Tereere was beginning to fail and become weaker and weaker when Dr. Compton first examined her,” Carlton said. “Now, with a repaired heart valve, she can be expected to have a full life.”

Once Drs. Compton and Randall were able to arrange for Tereere’s surgery, we needed to raise the funds to get her and her caretaker to Anchorage, flying from Kiritimati to Honolulu and then onward to Anchorage and return, Carlton said.

“Mending Kids International in Burbank, California came to the rescue and provided money for the flights,” Carlton said. “Without them, I don’t know what we would have done.”

“Tereere’s mother is understandably overjoyed. Kam rabwa, kam rabwa (thank you, thank you) everyone, for saving my dear daughter.”