Dr Noel, in Timor-Leste with our volunteer medical team, met up with our previous patients Jeca and Melinda, and reflects on the challenges and rewards of the role.
Like any other form of activity working as a volunteer for the East Timor Hearts Fund has its share of tribulations and irritations, and there are times when it all begins to look too hard.
Then (see photo) something like this comes along.
Jeca and Melinda were facing certain death from heart failure in the very near future before their procedures in Melbourne last year.
Both are now in excellent health, with technically superb results from their mitral valve balloon (thanks, Prof Rick Harper of MonashHeart) and mitral valve repair (Marco Larobina and the Royal Melbourne Hospital team) respectively.
Seen here with our stellar volunteer patient support coordinator and clinic translator, Ana Saldanha.