'Delight and joy' for our volunteer medicos

An update from Timor-Leste,  from our honorary medical adviser Dr Noel Bayley

The team is well into the June clinical trip.

After an early arrival last Friday morning, medical team members Dr Louise Creati, Dr Ari Horton and Dr Andre Monteiro (Timor’s first cardiologist), along with the support team of clinic administrator Nicki Mock and cardiac nurse Charis Brown, made the gruelling four-hour drive to Baucau, 120km east of Dili, for the first clinic.

It was a busy day, with around 50 patients seen, including many children. Ari's expertise as a paediatric cardiologist was extremely welcome and valuable. He has filled a longstanding gap in our range of services to the young people of Timor-Leste.

We had a late return to Dili, then back into it today at our partner, non-government health service Bairo Pite Clinic.  Again, it was a busy day. We saw about 30 patients, including a lot of kids with congenital disease who were in need of Ari’s input.

The day yielded the usual array of new patients, including three young adults who are outstanding candidates for surgical intervention in Australia.

As always, the whole team took delight, and indeed joy, in seeing patients who have been operated on in the recent past, all doing well.

It was a particular pleasure to see teenager Olga, who had extremely severe mitral stenosis, and was near death before her mitral balloon procedure at Royal Melbourne Hospital last July, now in robust health. Likewise, sports teacher and mother of three Bete, who had a complex “hole in the heart” operation at University Hospital Geelong last November, is also doing very well.

I am looking forward to another busy day of clinics tomorrow.

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