2016 news archive

Scholarship for Timor-Leste's one and only Dr Andre

Dr Andre Montiero is a very special medico - he's Timor-Leste's only cardiologist! And right now, thanks to a $10,000 scholarship provided by East Timor Hearts Fund, Dr Montiero is in Australia further building his professional skills and sharing his knowledge with his Melbourne counterparts. Dr Montiero is being hosted at MonashHeart, where he is undertaking simulator training, attending cardiology inpatient and outpatient clinics, and experiencing echocardiography and paediatric cardiology learning opportunities.

Our thanks to Director of Cardiology, Professor Rick Harper, and echocardiography trainer Tony Wald, for sharing their time and expertise with Dr Montiero, and also to the generous donor who made the scholarship possible.

We are very much looking forward to Dr Montiero not only playing a greater role in our screening, research and treatment programs in Timor-Leste, but to him contributing new knowledge and skills to the rapidly developing health system in his home country.

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Getting into the swing, to mend a broken heart

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'I can't wait to go back to my family and start working again'

Our latest patient, Maria, an emergency nurse at Baucau Hospital in Timor-Leste, had her first experience as a patient this week, with a heart procedure at Eastern Heart Clinic in Sydney, followed by recuperation at Prince of Wales Private Hospital.

Maria is in great spirits and eating and drinking well. "I can feel the difference now. I can breathe much easier," Maria told us.

"I am forever grateful for everyone involved in giving me the second chance in life. I can't wait to go back to my family and start working again," an excited Maria said.

Our thanks and gratitude to Eastern Heart Clinic's Virag Kushwala and Roger Allan, who performed the procedure, and to all at Eastern Heart and Prince of Wales Private, who have cared so superbly for Maria. Thanks also to Simoa, from Bairo Pite Clinic, who accompanied Maria to Australia.

What a fantastic Christmas gift for Maria and her family.

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Media release - Former Aussie peacekeeper puts heart into epic Timor trek


Media release -  Former Aussie peacekeeper puts heart into epic Timor trek

17 November 2016


A former Australian peacekeeper is returning to Timor-Leste (East Timor) to lead an epic north-south trek, which will include a summit attempt on Mt Ramelau, Timor-Leste’s highest peak, historic sites and village homestays.


The 13-day event, which will be supported by local guides, is the first commercial coast-to-coast trek for the fledgling nation, one hour’s flying time from Darwin.


Trekkers will camp and homestay in villages along the picturesque and often mountainous 110 km route. As well as an attempt on the 2986 metre Mt Ramelau, the expedition will take in historic sites including remote natural hot springs and the Portuguese-era fort and township of Balibo, where five Australian media workers lost their lives in 1975.


Trek organiser and leader Mick Stuth, now a civilian paramedic and operations director of EarthTrails Expeditions, which trains remote medics, said the Timor trek grew from his experiences as a peacekeeper, and his commitment to help support one of the poorest nations in Asia.


“In 2003 I served in Timor-Leste in a civil-military liaison role for the Australian Defence Force. It was truly eye-opening, to see what the people have endured in years of civil strife and occupation,” Mick said.


“As an Australian and a medic I also had to fathom that our ‘next door neighbours’, who are only one hour’s flying time from mainland Australia, live with such extreme poverty and poor health.


“This trek is my way to make a difference, and to give other Australians the chance to also help out our neighbours.”


Mick said he chose East Timor Hearts Fund – an Australian charity that provides life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young Timorese and supports research and preventative health initiatives – based on his experiences in Timor-Leste.


“I saw first-hand how rheumatic fever, the cause of many of the heart problems experienced by East Timor Hearts Fund’s young patients, works its way through communities,” he said.


“It causes crippling heart failure in young people, leaving them breathless, lethargic and unable to go to school or enjoy sport or playing with friends.


“To see children gasping for air, lying helpless and unable to do what other children do at that age, is heart-breaking and if there is treatment and prevention available, why wouldn’t we support it?”


As well as the social benefit, Mick said the trip, next July-August, would be an incredible adventure, in an “unspoilt wonderland, rich in vibrant cultures and jaw-dropping landscapes” that had very few tourists.


Mick urged Australians with a sense of adventure and a social conscience to get behind the trek. With only 15 places available, people need to act quickly. Special early-bird prices also apply before 25 November.


To register or to find out more, visit earthtrails.com.au/expeditions/east-timor/


Fact file:

East Timor Hearts Fund is Australia’s only medical aid charity dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young people from Timor-Leste (East Timor). These patients often need relatively simple procedures to correct conditions that are the legacy of childhood rheumatic fever, a disease largely eradicated in the west. They cannot be treated in Timor-Leste due to a lack of specialist medical facilities.


Earth Trails Expeditions is a socially and environmentally conscious adventure travel company that supports the Wild Medic Project, a volunteer-based organisation providing health training and support for remote communities in locations including Nepal.


Trans-Timor Trek

Date: Saturday 22 July – Thursday 3 August, 2017

Cost: $3,450 AUD – (special earlybird price until 25 November)

Info: earthtrails.com.au/expeditions/east-timor/


Early bird price until 25 November (refer to the website to learn about inclusions/exclusions)


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Meet Mick, the force behind the Trans-Timor Trek

Director of operations for Earth Trails Expeditions - Mick Stuth had an interesting introduction to Timor-Leste as part of a civil-military liaison role for the Australian Defence Force in 2003. Since that “eye-opening” operation, his connection and love for the people of Timor-Leste has opened up a trekking concept that involves leading a challenging traverse from one side of the country to the other, combined with an initiative to raise funds for an important cause.


From the moment I arrived in Timor-Leste in 2003, I felt a great sense of fragility mixed with a dash of optimism while talking with these beautiful people coming out of a tumultuous period.


While most of my colleagues felt that this was a six-month operation where the objective must be achieved, I felt that this was an opportunity to get to know the locals and try to understand the great disparity I was witnessing on a grand scale. It’s fair to say that there was an element of “culture shock” as I peered into the lives of simplicity, but with a raw history that had endless economic and social complexities.


The local stories of resistance, brutality, helplessness from characters with faces of resilience and pride have sat with me as I try to comprehend what has actually occurred through years of occupation. Through that experience my heart felt burdened and I promised myself that I would one day come back to this new nation to assist the local communities in some way that adds true value.


After an amazing visit with my young family, a refresher on Tetum-Praca and a catch-up with my great friend and local interpreter from 2003, the decision to organise a trek from the North to the South side of the island came into fruition after a casual chat with Manny Napoleon, a local eco-tour operator in Dili. A group trek would surely inject funds into the economy, but it alone would not harness the kind of value I wanted to bring.


Being a paramedic back home, my passion for healthcare is strong and what better way to support the young hearts of Timor-Leste by raising funds for East Timor Hearts Fund, an Australian-based organisation that provides life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young East Timorese.


Rheumatic fever, the cause of many of the heart problems experienced by East Timor Hearts Fund’s patients, works its way through communities in Timor. It causes crippling heart failure in young people leaving them breathless, lethargic and unable to contribute to their community in any meaningful way. To see children gasping for air lying helpless unable to do what other children do at that age is heart-breaking and if there is a relatively simple prevention and cure for this condition, why wouldn’t we support it?


Earth Trails Expeditions was born to help bring people to alternative destinations around the world, experiencing each location in its true rawness while injecting vital fundraising into key local initiatives. Earth Trails partner Steve Whitfield and I have been to Timor-Leste multiple times identifying its cultural, geographical and historical value as incredibly unique.


We have named the hiking challenge to benefit East Timor Hearts Fund the Trans-Timor Trek, and up to 15 participants will take in the 13 day journey, in July-August 2017. Manny’s local team will provide logistics and support for the mountainous deployment that includes a summit attempt on Mt Ramelau, East Timor’s highest peak. Each participant will individually fundraise prior to setting off in support of East Timor Hearts Fund.   



With plans to become a yearly event, the team at Earth Trails hope that the Trans-Timor Trek brings something special to the participants, but more importantly something critical for the young hearts of Timor-Leste.


I hope you will join me on what promises to be an incredible journey.

Mick Stuth

Earthtrails Expeditions

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Lucky Bete

Our patient Bete, who had open heart surgery earlier this week at University Hospital Geelong, is an extraordinarily lucky woman.

In addition to her VSD ("hole in the heart"), the surgical team discovered she had a second serious heart defect, a ruptured sinus of Valsalva, which meant that the aortic root had gradually weakened and ruptured into the right ventricle. The two holes have now been repaired, with no need to replace the aortic valve. This is a great outcome for Bete, who was at grave and immediate risk without treatment.

Bete is a mum of three, sports teacher and keen soccer and volley ball player. She has everything to live for, and will now have that opportunity.

Bete will be out of hospital and into the spring sunshine within a few days.

Our thanks to the skilled surgeon Mr Bo Zhang, and all of the skilled clinical teams at University Hospital Geelong, as well as our volunteer medical team member Dr Alan Appelbe, who has worked so hard to arrange treatment in Australia for Bete.

Our thanks to you also, as your support allows us to help patients like Bete.

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Heart-healthy fun for Bete

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2016 Golf Day - swing into action to mend a broken heart!

We are very pleased to announce a new way to have fun and support our work.


East Timor Hearts Fund Golf Day - Swing into action to mend a broken heart!



Friday 9 December

Sanctuary Lakes Golf Course

Breakfast from 7.15am

Shotgun tee-off at 8.00am

Lunch and guest speaker at 12.30pm


Entry includes breakfast, 18 holes on a Greg Norman-designed championship course, golf cart, sit down lunch with speaker.


*** Raising funds for East Timor Hearts Fund, Australia’s only medical aid charity dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young people from Timor-Leste.



Paul Hoffman

T 9530 2711

M 0405 312 543

E 2016golfday@easttimorheartsfund.org.au


Download the flier!

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A sporting chance for Bete

We're excited here at ETHF HQ, and it's not because of a horse race!

Later today our latest patient Bete arrives. Bete is a mum of three and a sports teacher - but in recent years she hasn't been able to work or enjoy her passion for soccer and volleyball because of worsening symptoms from a "hole in the heart" condition she was born with. In a western country, Bete's condition would have been diagnosed and treated in infancy, but because of a lack of specialist cardiac care in Timor-Leste, Bete has had to live with increasing breathlessness, pain and worry.

When I get better, I would like to look after my children and continue to do my teaching,” Bete told us. “I would like to say thank you very much to the doctors, donors, and everyone who is involved.” 

Our patient support volunteers are planning a warm welcome for Bete. We'll update you soon! 

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Our unstoppable volunteers

The Melbourne Cup might be the "horse race that stops a nation" but nothing stops our volunteer patient support team! When our patient Bete arrived in Melbourne this afternoon (along with health support worker/interpreter Alarico from Bairo Pite Clinic) our volunteers Annette, Ana and Inacio were on hand to greet them with necessities including warm clothes, a home cooked meal and a local mobile phone. Bete, a sports teacher and mother of three, is now resting up at her accommodation. She is tired but relieved to be here, and excited to be so close to getting the help she needs for her heart condition. Benvindu Bete!

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Skin disease, heart disease - what's the story?

How can skin infections possibly lead to heart disease, and what can we do about it? The project leader of our landmark rheumatic heart disease prevalence study, Dr Josh Francis of Royal Darwin Hospital, reveals all in this interview with ABC RA Pacific Beat program. Hope you enjoy it.

**The prevalence study, which involved screening 1400 school children in five days, was conducted last week with our project partners including RhEACH, Bairo Pite Clinic, St John of God Health Care and others. East Timor Hearts Fund financed the study, as part of our commitment to tackling the root causes of poor heart health in Timor-Leste. Our thanks to the generous private donor who has made this incredibly important piece of research possible!

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'I can't wait to come to Australia!'

Dear friends,

Our Mend Alia’s Broken Heart crowdfunding campaign has now concluded. 

Our volunteer medical team, Dr Noel Bayley and Dr Alan Appelbe, have given Alia her final checkup, and confirmed that she is set to come to Australia for her surgery.  This is a truly fantastic outcome for Alia, who aspires to finish school and be a doctor, so she can help others with life-threatening heart disease.

Final preparations are now underway for Alia to come to Australia, along with her mum Octavia, and a health support worker/interpreter. If you have not done so already, please subscribe to our e-news for the latest on Alia, and other occasional updates on our work, or follow our Facebook page.

We caught up with Alia and Octavia, and told them how people all over Australia were donating so that Alia gets the care she needs.

Please watch the video below to see their reaction!

After living with debilitating symptoms for so long, Alia is understandably thrilled that medical help is at hand, as is her whole family.

Alia told us: "I can't wait to come to Australia." Octavia said: "Thank you for helping my daughter. I am so happy now. Thanks Australia!"

Our campaign raised more than $29,000 – way in excess of our original $20,000 target! This is great news for Alia, and for the other young patients on our waiting list. It’s also a tribute to the generosity and support of all of the people who donated to ensure that Alia gets the care she needs, and shared her story, to let more people know about our work.

Obrigada barak (thank you very much)!


Ingrid, on behalf of the Mend Alia's Broken Heart campaign team

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Mend Alia's Broken Heart campaign update - We did it!!



Thank you so much to all who shared, donated and left beautiful messages of support for our patient Alia. 

Moments ago our crowdfunding campaign to provide 15-year-old Alia with life-saving heart surgery reached the $20,000 target - four days ahead of the official close of the campaign!

Although we have reached our target, with such a huge outpouring of support, we have decided to allow the campaign to run until the planned finish date, Tuesday 17 October. We have a long waiting list, so any additional funds will allow us to give another patient the same life-changing opportunity as Alia. You can read our full update to supporters as (as well as share and donate) on our Chuffed page.

Thank you for helping us #MendAliasBrokenHeart

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Marathon heart screening effort powered by grit, humour and lunch!

Screening 1000 school children for heart disease in five days requires grit, stamina, a good sense of humour - and lunch! Our volunteer team is today travelling Letefoho, at the foot of famous Mt Ramelau, south-west of the capital of Dili. They've made a great start, with more than 500 children screened already, and more to come over the next few days.

It's great to see them keeping their energy up and still smiling.

The team is working on a landmark piece of research to establish the incidence of rheumatic heart disease in Timor-Leste, which is being funded by East Timor Hearts Fund (thanks to a generous private donation) and delivered by a partnership of NGOs in Australia and Timor-Leste. More info here.

Photo credit: Susanna Rossi Photographs

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A life-saving donation - thank you Peninsula Health and GE Healthcare

**An Update from Dr Noel in Dili**

On behalf of East Timor Hearts Fund today I had the privilege of handing over a donated cardiac ultrasound machine to Guido Valadares National Hospital in Dili.

Dr Mendes Pinto, Director of Diagnostic and Logistics, and Timor-Leste’s first cardiologist, Dr Andre Montiero, accepted the gift.

This device is essential for diagnosis and management of cardiac disease, especially rheumatic valvular disease, so common in this country.

The cardiac ultrasound machine was very generously donated by Peninsula Cardiology, with support and assistance from GE Healthcare, and their representative, Greg Hyland.

Until now, this major hospital had no functional, high quality cardiac imaging equipment. So we're proud to be responsible for addressing this need, and also grateful for the generosity of the donors.

We have also sourced the necessary equipment to provide Dili National with a coronary care unit, the country's first. This will be installed early next year.

We are very proud to assist our Timorese colleagues in this way, as a crucial part of our long-term plan to support an improvement in the cardiac health of this wonderful country.

Dr Noel Bayley,

Honorary medical adviser

Photo credit: Susanna Rossi - Photographs

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Media release: Landmark heart study to screen 1000 Timorese children

Media release

Landmark heart study to screen 1000 Timorese children

Monday 10 October 2016

A team of Australian cardiologists and other medical specialists is assembling in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste (East Timor), ready to commence a landmark heart disease prevalence study.

Up to 1000 school children, in Dili and outlying districts, will be screened as part of the study, the first of its kind conducted in Timor-Leste, which aims to estimate the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the country.

RHD is a preventable, treatable form of cardiovascular disease that affects more than 32 million people around the world, and claims 275,000 lives a year. The prevalence of the disease has never been measured in Timor-Leste, despite many young people who have advanced heart disease.

Dr Noel Bayley, honorary medical adviser of the Australian medical aid charity East Timor Hearts Fund, said the organisation was funding the study as part of push to tackle the root causes of poor heart health in Timor-Leste.

“Since 2010 East Timor Hearts Fund has provided heart surgery or procedures in Australia for more than 30 patients, the vast majority of whom have been young people with RHD,” Dr Bayley said.

“While continuing to assist individual patients, we also want to start to look at the systemic issues.

“Anecdotally we know that there is a very high rate of RHD in Timor-Leste. This study aims to quantify that more precisely, and provide a platform for East Timor Hearts Fund and other non-government and government organisations to begin to marshal the funding and resources needed to effectively tackle this devastating disease.”

The study is the result of collaboration between East Timor Hearts Fund, RhEACH – a founding member of RHD Action – and local partners Bairo Pite Clinic and St John of God Timor-Leste.

Between Monday 10 October and Friday 14 October a team of four cardiologists and other medical specialists, nurses and support staff from around Australia and from Timor-Leste will commence the echocardiography screening study, which will develop a picture of how widespread RHD is among children and young adults in Timor-Leste. The medical team will examine children from schools in the capital of Dili, and the village of Letefoho, in Ermera district, south-west of the capital.

Treatment will be made available to children identified with RHD or skin conditions that can lead to it. Where children are found to have RHD, families will be offered the option of penicillin treatment, immediately and ongoing. East Timor Hearts Fund is also funding an expanded prophylactic penicillin program via Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, supported by a donation of medication from Pfizer.

“Understanding the burden of RHD in Timor-Leste will help us understand what can be done to tackle the disease,” said Dr Joshua Francis, a paediatric infectious disease specialist from Darwin, who is participating in the study.

“Prevention of these severe cases of RHD would not only be cost-effective for the health system in Timor-Leste, it would also spare a significant number of children and young people in Timor-Leste from suffering, and even dying from, a completely preventable disease.”

Download the media release (PDF download)

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Thanks Willow and friends - hearts of gold

We're constantly humbled by the kindness of our junior supporters. Today's ETHF Herogram goes out to eight year old Willow and her friends, who are students at Dili International School. Willow (that's her in the centre at the back) turned down birthday presents at her party recently, and instead asked her friends to contribute to the Mend Alia's Broken Heart crowdfunding campaign. They raised an impressive $156! Thanks Willow and friends, you have hearts of gold.

Help us raise $20,000 in 20 days to Mend Alia's Broken Heart. Donate and share at https://chuffed.org/project/mendaliasbrokenheart


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Timorese street food to mend a broken heart

Huge thanks to our friends Sabores de Timor and Down to Earth Coffee and Tea House for putting on this great event.Come and sample some delicious Timorese street food, meet the makers, and support our Mend Alia's Broken Heart crowdfunding campaign to provide life-saving heart surgery in Australia for 15-year-old Alia. Details on our Facebook page.

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Thanks Doris and John  Madden for your big hearts!

Today's ETHF Herogram is going out to Doris and John Madden, who have made one of the largest individual donations to our Mend Alia's Broken Heart crowdfunding campaign. Thanks Doris and John! As a little thank you for their kindness, Doris and John receive one of our great campaign perks - afternoon tea with Alia and her mum Octavia. They also get this social shout out, and listing in our Hall of Fame.

If you'd like to be rewarded with great perks, including the greatest perk of all, helping Alia get the life-saving treatment she needs, please go to our campaign page at Chuffed.org to donate and share.


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'My dream is to be a doctor'

Celebrate World Heart Day by helping to mend a broken heart. We’re crowdfunding $20,000 in 20 days to give Timorese teenager Alia life-saving heart surgery in Australia, so she can work toward her dream of being a doctor.Please share this post with all the generous people you know. Go to Chuffed.org/project/mendaliasbrokenheart to donate.

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All the photos from our Mend Alia's Broken Heart launch!

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'When I'm better I will be happy with my family and friends'

Critical heart disease is standing in the way of Alia’s simple wish to have a happy life with family and friends. Help us give her the normal childhood she deserves.Please share this post with all the generous people you know. Go to Chuffed.org/project/mendaliasbrokenheart to donate.

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Join the crowd to raise $20,000 in 20 days for Alia

Today we are proud to launch our first ever crowdfunding campaign. We’re raising $20,000 in 20 days so that 15-year-old Alia can have life-saving heart surgery in Australia. Why crowdfunding? We know Australian people want to help their neighbours in Timor-Leste, and crowdfunding provides a way. Please share this post with all the generous people you know. Go to Chuffed.org/project/mendaliasbrokenheart to donate.

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Helping Alia achieve her dream

With a new heart, Alia can work toward her dream of being a doctor and helping others with heart disease. Will you help us Mend Alia’s Broken Heart? Please share this post with all the generous people you know. Go to Chuffed.org/project/mendaliasbrokenheart to donate.

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Words alone cannot describe

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Sneak preview!

SNEAK PREVIEW! Tomorrow we're launching a very special fundraising campaign. We're crowdfunding $20,000 in 20 days to give 15-year-old Alia life-saving heart surgery in Australia. Our crowdfunding page on Chuffed.org will be live tomorrow, 27 September. More details soon! 

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We're making news in Warrnambool!

Thanks to our friends Warrnambool Standard for sharing our exciting news - next Tuesday we'll be launching a crowdfunding campaign to provide life-saving heart surgery for 15 year old Alia. Read all about it - and watch out for more info soon! #mendaliasbrokenheart

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'I feel really healthy and happy'

This morning we bid a fond "adeus and boa viajem" (farewell and safe travels) to our latest patient, 23 year old kinder teacher Eufasia, and companion Fati, from Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili.

Eufasia, who had a successful heart valve repair at Royal Melbourne Hospital earlier this month, is so excited about being able to resume her work as a teacher. "I've not been able to work for almost a year. I really miss teaching. Thank you to all involved for helping me. I feel very happy and healthy," she told us.

We wish Eufrasia the greatest happiness in her new, healthy life.


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A hearty appetite!

Our patient Eufrasia has a healthy appetite since her heart surgery nearly a fortnight ago, so our patient support volunteers Alanah and Sally organised a beautiful dinner for her and Bairo Pite Clinic health support worker/interpreter Fati. Eufrasia has some final medical checks, before being cleared to fly back to Timor-Leste, where she'll be well enough to return to her work as a kindergarten teacher.

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Trans-Timor Trek for healthy hearts

Next July-August our friends EarthTrails Expeditions will lead an incredible trek across Timor, which will help raise funds for our work. Staring in Dili in the north, the trek will finish in Betano in the south, taking in sights including Timor-Leste's highest peak, Mt Ramelau; Balibo and the historic hot springs. Only 15 lucky people will get to take part! More info from EarthTrails Expeditions.Early bird prices apply before 20 November.

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Smiling at a crocodile

Our patient Eufrasia is feeling better every day following her double heart valve repair surgery, so now it's time for some fun, which our volunteer patient support team are experts in arranging. Volunteer Robyn took Eufrasia and interpreter/health support worker Fati to visit Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium - where they found a crocodile, a sacred animal in Timor-Leste.

After some final checkups, Eufrasia should be well enough to return home next week. The 23 year old kindergarten teacher is very much looking forward to being well enough to return to work.

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Toll renews a life-saving partnership

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Out of hospital and one step closer to a new, healthy life

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'I am happy. Thank you to all involved.'

Kindergarten teacher Eufrasia continues to make a great recovery after her double heart valve repair operation at Royal Melbourne Hospital this week. Her appetite is back and she says she can breathe easily. "I am happy. Thank you to all involved," Eufrasia said.

A big thanks also to the wonderful Fati, from Bairo Pite Clinic, who has been at Eufrasia's side throughout, and also to our very own patient support coordinator Ana, and her delicious kaldu na'an manu (Timorese chicken soup with chicken, watercress, ginger, rice and lemongrass), which is helping to restore Eufrasia to health.

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An outstanding result for Eufrasia

***An update from Dr Noel***


Good evening all,

We've had what looks like an outstanding result with our patient, Eufrasia.

She had severely leaky aortic and mitral valves, and the resultant increased load on the main pumping chamber of her heart, the left ventricle, led it to progressively expand in size, and to fail.

She was, as a consequence, faced with disabling fatigue and breathlessness, and without surgery, early death.

Cardiac surgeon Michael O'Keefe and the team at RMH successfully repaired both valves today.

In East Timor, no treatment was available.

In Australia, traditionally, the valves would have been replaced.

To repair the valves, with what looks like an excellent functional result, is the ideal outcome in a young woman.

Our organisation has been an enthusiastic supporter of the RMH’s cutting edge valve repair program.

We're seeing the results in Eufrasia's outcome.

Our thanks to Michael, and to all involved at RMH.

We'll keep you posted.

– Dr Noel Bayley, honorary medical adviser

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Welcome to our new Patron, Sir Peter Cosgrove

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'When I get better I want to go back to teaching'

Tomorrow we welcome 23 year old kindergarten teacher Eufrasia to Melbourne. Her heart disease has meant that Eufrasia hasn't been able to teach for the last two years; but we hope all that will change after surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital next week. Eufrasia has high hopes. "When I get better I want to go back to teaching and continue my study at university," she told us. We'll bring you more news soon!

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A new life for farmer Nelson

Farmer Nelson will soon be back in Timor-Leste, playing with his children and providing for his family, thanks to life-saving medical care provided by our partner Eastern Heart Clinic in Sydney. Thanks to the Southern Courier for this great story.

Click here to read.

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'I am ready to go back to farming in my home town'

A message from our patient Nelson

"I've just been discharged from the hospital today and I already feel so much better. I can breathe better and I can walk without feeling tired or breathless. My appetite is definitely back! I’ve been enjoying the hospital food.

All the doctors, nurses and everyone at the hospital are so loving and caring. I could not believe it when one of the nurses offered to feed me, as I was struggling a bit with the drips in my arms. I can proudly say that I've been very well looked after since my arrival in Sydney. I am looking forward to sharing my wonderful experience with my family and friends. 

I feel that I am ready to go back to farming in my home town of Venilale, Timor-Leste. 

Obrigadu barak to East Timor Hearts Fund, Bairo Pite Clinic, Dr Simon Eggleton, the surgeons and all the doctors and staff at Eastern Heart Clinic and Prince of Wales Private Hospital, all the volunteers and everyone involved. None of this would've been possible without your help and generosity. God bless you all, Nelson."

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'This is a milestone for East Timor Hearts Fund'

An update from Dr Noel

Good morning,

I'm delighted to report that Nelson’s mitral balloon, performed by Professor Roger Allan and Dr Virag Kushwala at the Eastern Heart Clinic in Sydney has gone extremely well. Nelson is now recovering well at Prince of Wales Private Hospital.

As a result of the procedure we have seen a dramatic fall in the pressure across the valve, and the consequent back pressure on his lungs, the cause of his disabling symptoms.

Nelson will be discharged from hospital today, and back to East Timor, transformed, next week.

Our thanks to the team, including volunteer medical team member, Sydney cardiologist Simon Eggleton. Simon saw Nelson at our clinics in Dili earlier in the year, and worked hard to arrange for his treatment in Australia.

This is a milestone for East Timor Hearts Fund, as Nelson is our first case outside Victoria.

We're delighted it went so well.

Dr Noel Bayley

Honorary medical adviser

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Happy birthday Fati!

Coming to Australia for major heart surgery is a stressful experience, and that's why our patients always travel with a health support worker/interpreter by their side. One of the best is Fatima Mendonca, from Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, who has made dozens of trips to Australia supporting our patients. Fati is currently in Sydney, with our latest patient Nelson. We're giving Fati a big shout out because today is her birthday, and she's spending it a long way from home, family and friends. Happy birthday Fati, and thank you for being there for our patients.

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Generosity x 5 - thanks Cardioscan

Today's ETHF Herogram is going out to our friend Cardioscan, which has just donated five pre-loved but totally top-notch ECG machines, used for heart screening. Chief technical officer Asaf Ziv handed over the booty today to our honorary medical adviser, Dr Noel Bayley. The machines will soon be making their way to Timor-Leste, where they will be put to good use by our partner Bairo Pite Clinic and in the new cardiac care ward at Guido Valadares National Hospital. Thanks Cardioscan for this wonderful donation.

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Benvindu Nelson!

Benvindu Nelson! We're very excited to welcome our latest patient Nelson, 31, a farmer and father of three. The symptoms and worry of his heart disease have limited almost every aspect of Nelson's life, so he's super excited to be here, with medical help only days away. 

Nelson is our first patient to be treated in Sydney, under new partnerships with Eastern Heart Clinic and Prince of Wales Private Hospital.

"To all the doctors and donors and everyone else who has done so much for me, I cannot reciprocate but I can only say thank you very much for the support, and also I’ll praying to God to bless you all," Nelson told us.

We'll be bringing you more updates about Nelson soon.

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East Timor Hearts Fund goes national with new Sydney partners

East Timor Hearts Fund goes national with new Sydney partners

14 August 2016

East Timor Hearts Fund is delighted to announce new partnerships with two leading New South Wales medical institutions, in a significant expansion of our program.


Recently signed agreements with Eastern Heart Clinic and Prince of Wales Private Hospitals, both in Randwick, will see nine patients treated in Sydney over the next three years.


Eastern Heart Clinic will provide day cardiac procedures for patients, and Prince of Wales Private Hospital will provide post-operative care.


These latest partnerships are the first outside Victoria, and bring a welcome national focus to our growing organisation.


They are part of our organisation’s plan to increase the scale and scope of our work. As well as treating up to 20 patients a year in Australia, our goal is to support the development of capacity in Timor-Leste with projects including visiting surgical teams, health and medical training and research and preventative programs.


The first patient under the agreement will be treated this month.


We are excited at the opportunity to work with Eastern Heart Clinic and Prince of Wales Private Hospital (owned by Healthscope) and thank both organisations sincerely for their support of our mission of delivering world-class cardiac care to our neighbours in Timor-Leste.




Ingrid Svendsen                                Ken Dusting

Board Chair                                        Chief Executive Officer



 Download the news release (PDF download)

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Thumbs up for healthy hearts!

Paulo and his mum Regina have arrived back in Timor-Leste, and the whole family gives Paulo's new heart the big thumbs up!

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'I will always have a special place in my heart for you'

Thirteen year old Paulo is now back in Timor-Leste, ready to enjoy his new healthy life. Before flying out he wrote this note.

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$20,000 raised in 8 weeks - thank you!

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'I can't believe I did the 5k run,' says heart patient Melinda

Our Run Melbourne ambassador, patient Melinda, has arrived home in Timor-Leste, still on a high. She sent us this pic of her mum Olinda (who travelled to Australia with her), dad Gil and cousins, and asked us to pass on this message:

"Obrigada barak to ETHF and all involved for giving me a new healthy heart back in 2014. Considering how sick I was two years ago, I can't believe that I did the 5km run yesterday! It is a big achievement for me. On behalf of my family and I, I would like to thank all the wonderful organisers for the fantastic 2016 fun run.

BIG obrigada also to my sponsors Aspect Skin Care and Smith + Tracey Architects. Soccer and running are my favourite sports. Without the help of my sponsors and ETHF my mother and I wouldn't have made it for this year's fun run to help raise funds for my favourite charity ETHF."

Our New Heart for Paulo Appeal is now a mere $1100 away from our appeal goal. Give Melinda a big thumbs up for her achievement in the best way possible - make your donation here

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Run Melbourne 2016 - it's a wrap!

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On top of the world

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A football dream come true for Paulo

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Hot chocolate and selfies

Selfie time! After a hard day of sightseeing, it was time for hot chocolate and selfies for our patients, Olga and Paulo, who have had their heart procedures in the last fortnight, and Melinda, who heart surgery two years ago, and has just arrived in Melbourne to join our #runmelbourne2016 team.

Thanks to our volunteers Daniela and Keagan.

You can find out more about our Run Melbourne ambassador Melinda, and donate, here.

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A bright future, in 3D

Having heart disease has meant that teenage patients Paulo and Olga have missed out on so much, but they are making up for it now and packing in the fun before they leave Melbourne next week. Today it was a trip to IMAX to see Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet in 3D!

A huge thanks to our patients support volunteers Daniela and Keagan for organising the outing.

Our special appeal for Paulo is still open! You can donate here.


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'If it wasn't for East Timor Hearts Fund I wouldn't be here today'

Our Run Melbourne ambassador Melinda arrived in Melbourne late last night, with a message for our New Heart for Paulo team:" I can't wait for the fun run on Sunday. I am ready to do my 5km run and I hope to raise enough funds to help East Timor Hearts Fund so that they can continue to save more lives. If it wasn't for East Timor Hearts Fund and everyone involved I wouldn't be here today. Back in 2014 I was really sick and couldn't even walk a short distance. Now, I can run long distances and even play soccer. I hope to see a lot of supporters on Sunday."

You can support Melinda's Run Melbourne effort for our New Heart for Paulo appeal through her fundraising page here.


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After the heart surgery comes the fun for Paulo and Olga

It's hard to believe that Olga and Paulo have both had heart procedures in the last fortnight. The pair are feeling better every day, and making the most of Melbourne before they return to Timor-Leste next week. Today a treat - a trip to Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium for some up close encounters with the marine life.

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Patient Melinda is running to help mend more broken hearts

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Thanks Smith + Tracey!

Our great friends Smith + Tracey architects are not just sponsoring our Run Melbourne team, they'll be out in force on the day, walking and running to support our New Heart for Paulo appeal. Thanks Smith + Tracey 

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Paulo's date with a Melbourne Victory star

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An update from Dr Noel - a great result for Olga

****An update from Dr Noel****

Good evening all,

Olga Kotens had her mitral balloon procedure, performed this afternoon at Royal Melbourne Hospital by Dr Will Wilson and his team.

Olga had a very severely narrowed mitral valve, consequent on previous rheumatic heart disease.

When I saw her recently in Dili, she was very unwell, with severe symptoms of breathlessness and fatigue. Without early intervention, she would have died in the near future.

Her procedure today went extremely well; the post-operative echo shows a dramatic drop in the pressure across the valve. 

This will translate (immediately) into resolution of her symptoms, and in the longer term, likely normal life expectancy.

This picture (with her mother Ligia) was taken this evening; Olga is feeling much better already. 

This is a hugely rewarding result for all involved. Our thanks to Will and his expert team.

Dr Noel Bayley

Honorary medical adviser

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Olga's special visitor

Only a few hours after her life-saving heart procedure at Royal Melbourne Hospital this afternoon, Olga had a special visitor. Paulo, 13, who is making an amazing recovery after his procedure last week at Barwon Health called past to say hello. 

"I am really happy to see Paulo," Olga told us. "He is really friendly and very encouraging. I feel really happy and feel much better since the surgery. Obrigada barak (thank you very much)!"

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Let's mend this broken heart!

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Benvindu Olga!

Our latest patient Olga, 16, has arrived, along with mum Ligia, and the wonderful Alarico from Bairo Pite Clinic. A huge thanks to our patient support volunteer Inacio for airport transport duties. Olga will be having her heart surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital this week. Please keep an eye on our page for updates!

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Party at Paulo's!

Party at Paulo's! Paulo continues to make a great recovery following his heart procedure at Barwon Health's University Hospital Geelong last week.

Today Paulo, mum Regina and chaperon Fatima from Bairo Pite Clinic had guests. Patient support volunteers Inacio, Robyn and Cathie; medical volunteer Dr Louise; patient support coordinator Ana and CEO Ken popped by for lunch. Volunteer photographer Mathew Lynn was also on hand to capture the fun.

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'I can run and play again'

With a new heart, and these great new runners (a gift from one of our volunteer medical team, Dr Louise), Paulo can run and play again.

Donate to the special appeal for Paulo.

Photo credit: Mathew Lynn

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'Thank you for helping me to be healthy again.'

We're excited! Our latest patient, 16 year old Olga, arrives tomorrow, along with her mum Ligia.

Olga will have a heart operation this week at Royal Melbourne Hospital

We caught up with Olga in Dili recently, and asked her how she was feeling about coming to Australia for surgery. "Thank you for helping me to be healthy again," she said. "I hope all the doctors can help and support me to be healthy again so I can finish school. I would like to be a school teacher like my teacher Amelia, who is very good."

Please keep an eye on our blog for updates about Olga.

Photo credit: Mathew Lynn 

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Planning to do more

Today we started work on our 2017-20 strategic plan. A big thanks to Richard Ainley of Nous Group for giving up his Saturday and again sharing his exceptional facilitation skills with us.

Find out more about our current strategic plan here.

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Lifesaving device for bound for Timor, thanks to Peninsula Cardiology and GE Healthcare

We are extremely proud to be supporting Guido Valadares National Hospital in Dili to establish its first cardiac care ward. Here is our latest equipment donation, which will soon be bound Timor-Leste. Our sincere thanks to Peninsula Cardiology for the donation of the echocardiogram machine, which will be used to diagnose heart conditions. Thanks also to Greg Hyland (pictured with Dr Noel) and his colleagues at GE Healthcare for refurbishing the device free of charge. We look forward to seeing it put to work at the national hospital very soon.

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Burger time for Paulo

Out of hospital, making a new friend, and asking for hamburgers! Our amazing 13 year old patient Paulo is on the road to recovery.

Our special fundraising appeal for Paulo is still running, so you can celebrate his new heart by making a donation.

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Thumbs up for Paulo

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Pfizer partnership stems tide of rheumatic heart disease

With the support of our friends Pfizer we are able to deliver the medicine that can stop young people from developing rheumatic heart disease.
Read all about it in the latest issue of PharmaDispatch.

Photo credit: Mat Lynn

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'I can't wait to see my son playing soccer again'

"We are so happy to be here so that Paulo can receive all the care that he needs. We know that Paulo is in very good hands. I can't wait to see my son playing soccer again with his friends and going back to school."

That's what Paulo's mum Regina told us soon after arriving in Australia.

Paulo, 13, is now in Geelong, in regional Victoria, awaiting his heart procedure this week at Barwon Health's University Hospital Geelong.

Please watch out for further updates, and to visit our New Heart for Paulo appeal page to donate.

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'Thank you for helping me,' says Paulo

Paulo, 13, and his mum Regina arrive in Australia tomorrow, ahead of Paulo's heart surgery at Barwon Health's University Hospital Geelong this week. 

Paulo asked us to pass on this message: "I would like to thank East Timor Hearts Fund and everyone involved for helping me."

Our New Heart for Paulo Appeal is nearing the half way point, and it's not too late to donate.

You can find out more, and make a contribution, here.

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Join the crowd to help Alia

Today we are proud to launch our first ever crowdfunding campaign. We’re raising $20,000 in 20 days so that 15-year-old Alia can have life-saving heart surgery in Australia. Why crowdfunding? We know Australian people want to help their neighbours in Timor-Leste, and crowdfunding provides a way. Please share this post with all the generous people you know. Go to Chuffed.org/project/mendaliasbrokenheart to donate.

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Make a tax-time donation and mend a broken heart

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A shot in the arm for our penicillin program - thanks Pfizer Australia

A huge thanks to our excellent friend Pfizer, which has generously donated a whopping two pallets of penicillin. The medication will help us to extend preventative treatment to even more patients, stopping the development of deadly rheumatic heart disease. An equally big thanks to the always resourceful Anne Maree Mugavin of St John of God Warrnambool (pictured with Dr Noel and a fraction of the medicinal booty) for helping us solve the considerable challenge of getting the penicillin to Timor-Leste. There is currently a significant shortage of this life-saving drug in Timor-Leste, so we are proud to team with our partners to make this medicine available to those who desperately need it.

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An update from Dr Noel - making cardiac history in Timor-Leste

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Back in Timor-Leste and hard at work

Our volunteer medical team is in Timor-Leste, conducting screening clinics. Honorary medical adviser Dr Noel Bayley, along with fellow cardiologists doctors Liz and Louise, and admin team Nicki and Julie are having a very busy time, identifying new patients for surgery in Australia and checking up on some old friends, now in great heart health. Stand by for more updates from the field!

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'Supremely inconceivable' surgery changes hearts and minds

In March, Deakin University medical student Susan Potter went to Timor-Leste as part of our volunteer medical team. Here are her reflections on the experience, and of seeing the final steps in patient Maria's journey to health.

Last week I had the extraordinary opportunity to observe the heart surgery of Maria, one of our East Timor Heart Fund patients whom I met in March in Dili. The whole experience, from Dili to now, has me in awe of the hard working professionals donating their time and vast skills to help these patients. In Dili, Dr Noel Bayley’s warmth and compassion, while he screened over 100 Timorese for the sixteenth year running, was beyond inspirational. Last week Dr Cheng Hon Yap and the cardiac surgical team at University Hospital Geelong performed open heart surgery on one of these patients, which I was privileged to observe. From nursing staff, to anaesthetists, to surgeons and theatre technicians, the entire production was supremely inconceivable even for a medical student who has learnt about this surgery. I was left absolutely gob-smacked. It made me very aware of the amazing medical resources we have at our finger-tips in Australia and the great privilege we have to be able to share these with our less fortunate neighbours. I feel very grateful to East Timor Hearts Fund and all the individuals involved who allowed me to be part of this generous gift to Maria. 

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Healthy appetites following heart surgery

Patients Ana and Maria are feeling better every day, following last week's heart surgery. Today they tucked into bowls of Timorese rice porridge, made with chicken, lemongrass and watercress by our resident foodies and patient support volunteers. Ana and Inacio. If they continue to make a good recovery, Ana and Maria will be out of hospital early this week, and back to Timor-Leste very soon.
Thanks to all who have passed on good wishes to them, and also to the wonderful surgical, medical and nursing teams at Barwon Health's University Hospital Geelong.

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25% raised in 10 days - thank you!

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10% closer to a new heart

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Back to work with a healthy heart for Nurse Teresinha

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Running for hearts - in Dili!

A message from Sophie, our unofficial Run Melbourne Dili ambassador!

On Sunday 24 July, East Timor Hearts Fund is doing the Run Melbourne fun run and walk, to raise $20,000 to give a young Timorese patient life-saving heart surgery.


On the same day in Dili, I’m planning to run 10km to help raise funds and show my support. I’m putting the call out to anyone who would like to join my unofficial ‘Run Melbourne Dili’ and help this really worthy cause! I’ll share details of the start time (early morning before it gets too hot) and location closer to the date. And if 10km doesn't appeal, come along for a 5km run or a walk. The more the merrier!

You can donate to my fundraising page or create your own fundraising page. More information is on the East Timor Hearts Fund website or to find out more, please email me.

Thanks Dili runners!

Best wishes,


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New Heart for Paulo appeal

Paulo, 13, has Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome. It’s like a short circuit in the heart – some faulty wiring that causes his heart to race crazily.

Although Paulo loves going to school and playing soccer with his friends, he is increasingly sidelined by his heart problems. As Paulo explains: “Since I have heart disease, I can feel my heart working too fast. I feel breathless, and have dizziness, headaches, sweating and it’s hard to sleep at night. I am really sad because of it.”

Our volunteer medical team diagnosed Paulo’s condition during clinics in Dili in March. And now, we have arranged for Paulo to have a high-tech heart procedure in Australia to fix his condition.

In early July Paolo will travel to Melbourne with his mum Regina, to have the procedure. A catheter will be inserted through a vein and into his heart, and the bad wiring removed. Afterwards, Paulo will be able to return to school and play soccer again.

We’ve launched the New Heart for Paulo fundraising appeal to give our supporters the opportunity to help raise $20,000 for Paulo’s treatment procedure.

Here are some ways you can help:

You can meet Paulo at Run Melbourne on 24 July, as well as previous patient Melinda, who is coming all the way from Timor-Leste to run with us. Come and meet living proof of the difference our work is making!

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On Timorese Tuesdays coffee and lunch mend broken hearts

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New board reflects skills and diversity

The election of three new directors following a rigorous recruitment and selection process demonstrates continuing commitment to maintaining a high-skill and diverse board, East Timor Hearts Fund chair Ingrid Svendsen said.


East Timor Hearts Fund’s Annual General Meeting last night (28 April 2016) elected new directors Nicki Patten, Sarah Danne and Sophie Clarkson, for three year terms. All have legal qualifications, as well as broad governance, NGO, business and government credentials.


Nicki is a governance and legal senior manager with major not for profit human services provider Baptcare, and her background includes work with World Vision in Timor-Leste; Sarah works with Macquarie Bank and is a former Company Secretary of Etihad Stadium; Sophie is a senior legal officer with the Federal Government, has an extensive background in not for profits, and is currently based in Timor-Leste.


“These appointments, combined with the skill and experience of continuing directors, mean we are well positioned to grow and deliver on our ambitious program,” newly re-elected director and Board Chair Ingrid Svendsen said.


“This year we expect to partner to deliver Timor-Leste’s first rheumatic heart disease prevalence study, along with an expanded preventative penicillin program. We are also actively working toward partnering to organise visiting cardiac surgical teams.


“Our board is now better placed than ever to provide governance oversight to manage risk and effectively deliver these more complex projects and service delivery areas.”


Ingrid noted that the East Timor Hearts Fund board now had greater gender diversity, and was significantly more youthful, than most Australian corporate boards and many in the not for profit sector.


“At a time when many corporate boards still have little or no female representation, it is particularly exciting to appoint on merit three outstanding women directors,” Ingrid said.


“As well as having a female board chair, our board is now 55 per cent female, which is a significant increase and very much in line with our culture as a modern and dynamic organisation.”


Other board members are co-founder and medical adviser Dr Noel Bayley and Ana Saldanha (both re-elected for further three year terms); and Philip Fitzpatrick (re-elected as Company Secretary), surgeon Andrew Cochrane and Bill Appleby.


Ingrid paid tribute to retiring director Julie Kean, a foundation board member, who the board unanimously lauded for her exceptional contribution to the organisation since 2012.


More information about the board is at www.easttimorheartsfund.org.au/about-us/the-team/

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Please join us at this special event!

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Media release - Australian surgery lets East Timorese nurse take heart

East Timorese paediatric nurse Teresinha da Costa has had a unique experience of the Australian public health system, undergoing a life-saving heart procedure in Melbourne this month, courtesy of the medical aid charity East Timor Hearts Fund.


Teresinha, who works at the Guido Valadares National Hospital in Dili, the capital of East Timor, has been accompanied by her doctor husband, Victor Sarmento. She had a technically complex procedure at Royal Melbourne Hospital on 13 April to repair a congenital defect in her heart.


“My husband and I have been very interested to see the Australian health system first-hand. We have always had great faith that God and the doctors in Melbourne would take care of me,” Teresinha said.


East Timor Hearts Fund honorary medical adviser Dr Noel Bayley said Teresinha, 28, suffered from patent ductus arteriosus (known as PDA), an abnormal connection between the large vessels in the chest near the heart. In a developed country this would usually be diagnosed and fixed in infancy.


“It causes enormous strain on the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, and this will eventually cause it to fail,” Dr Bayley said.


“Teresinha has already had clinical heart failure in the past. Her outlook without this procedure was very grim.


“Unfortunately, while health facilities in Timor-Leste (East Timor) are improving all the time, currently it has no specialist cardiac facilities, which means overseas treatment is the only option for patients like Teresinha.


“As a skilled specialist nurse Teresinha can make an important contribution to the future of her country. All of us at East Timor Hearts Fund are delighted that we have been able to help give her that opportunity.”


East Timor Hearts Fund is the only medical aid charity dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young people from Timor-Leste.  Since 2010 it has conducted a dozen screening clinics in Timor-Leste and provided surgery or procedures for more than 30 patients, aged as young as 11.


Interventional cardiologist Dr Will Wilson said Teresinha was recovering well after last week’s successful PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) closure at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which used a high-tech, expandable plug-like medical device.


“The PDA was at least twice as large as those we normally see, and at the upper limits of what we can close with devices, so it was a significant challenge for the medical team,” Dr Wilson said.


“We managed to close this defect without open-heart surgery, using a self-expanding cardiac plug made of Nitinol (an alloy of titanium and nickel) with polyester patches sewn inside.


“This was delivered via a three millimetre tube inserted into the femoral vein, at the top of the leg. The large size of Terasinha’s defect meant we needed to use a different plug to that normally deployed.


“The procedure was uncomplicated and Terasinha has made an excellent recovery. A cardiac ultrasound the day after the procedure revealed only a small amount of residual flow across the PDA. We would hope she notices a significant improvement in her symptoms, and closure of the duct will certainly lead to an improvement in her life expectancy.”


Teresinha said her heart disease had made her breathless and dizzy and left her unable to work or have more children.


“I am feeling so much better. I’m looking forward to getting back to nursing, but the most important thing is looking after my six-month old son. He is the only son that I have and I love him so much,” Teresinha said.


“I would like to say thank you very much to the doctors and donors who have helped me to get my heart treatment in Australia. But just to say thank you, for me it’s not enough, but I don’t know any other word to say. I just feel so grateful for what they have done for me. “


Media contact: Ingrid Svendsen, 0409 007 530

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Hodi halo sirujia iha Austrália enfermeira Timór-oan ida simu tratamentu fuan nian.

Enfermeira pediatria Timór nian Teresinha da Costa simu esperiénsia foun ida kona-ba sistema saúde públika Australia nian. Tuir karidade ajuda médika East Timor Hearts Fund, fulan April ne’e  iha Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Teresinha hetan sirujia fuan ida ne’ebé salva nia vida. 

Teresinha, serbisu nu’udar enfermeira pediatria nian iha Hospitál Nasionál Guido Valadares iha Dili. Teresinha to’o iha Melbourne ho nia laen doutór Victor Sarmento. 

Iha loron 13 fulan Abril iha RMH Teresinha halo sirujia komplexu ida atu hadia defeitu konjénitu fuan nian, ne’ebé Teresinha hetan wainhira nia moris. 

“Ha’u ho ha’u-nia laen sempre hakarak mai to’o Austrália atu haree ho matan Austrália nia sistema saúde públiku nian. Ami sempre iha esperansa katak ho Na’i Maromak nia tulun doutór sira iha Melbourne sei tulun no tau matan mai ha’u,” Teresinha dehan.

Konsultivu médiku onoráriu East Timor Hearts Fund nian Dr Noel Bayley hato’o katak Teresinha (tinan 28), antes de halo sirujia fuan nian nia sofre moras fuan naran persisténsia kanál arteriál (PDA ho lian Inglés). Moras fuan ne’e konexaun anormál ida entre vazus ka passajem boot nian iha hirus-matan besik fuan. Iha rai sira dezenvolvidus liu ema sira ne’ebé moris ho moras fuan ne’e sempre hetan tratamentu durante sira-nia infánsia. 

“Moras fuan ne’e provoka presaun iha ventríkulu sorin karuk fuan nian. Ventríkulu ne’e mak passajem/ kâmera prinsipál bombeamentu fuan nian. Se mak la halo tratamentu sei bele kauza fallansu iha fuan,” Dr Bayley dehan. 

“Teresinha uluk hetan ona isufisiênsia kardiaka klínika. Teresinha nia perspektiva moris nian ladún di’ak, se mak nia la halo tratamentu ka halo sirujia ne’e” Dr Bayley dehan.

“Infelizmente, enkuantu fasilidades saúde nian ia Timor-Leste haburas dadauk ba oin, atualmente Timór-Leste ladauk iha fasilidades espesialistas kardíakas nian, tanba ne’e mak tratamentu iha tasi-balun opsaun únika ida ba pasiente sira hanesan Teresinha.” Dr Bayley dehan. 

“Nu’udar enfermeira espesialista ida Teresinha bele halo kontribuisaun importante ba Timor-Leste nia futuru. Ami hotu iha East Timor Hearts Fund sente orgullu tebes katak ami bele ajuda Teresinha ho opurtunidade ida-ne’e.”

East Timor Hearts Fund mak organizasaun karidade mesak ida, ne’ebé ajuda fornese sirujia kardíaka atu salva ema nia vida iha Austrália ba joven Timór-oan sira. Dezde tinan 2010 mak East Timor Hearts Fund hala’o ona klínika maizumenus 12 iha Timor-Leste nia laran, no mós ajuda Timór-oan tolunulu resin (pasiente klosan liu mak ho tinan 11) ba to’o Austrália atu halo operasaun ka sirujia fuan nian iha Melbourne.

Kardiolijista intervensionista Dr Will Wilson dehan katak Teresinha agora rekupera di’ak loos depois de nia halo sirujia ba nia moras fuan persisténsia kanál arteriál iha Royal Melbourne Hospital. Sirujia ne’ebé Teresinha halo susessu duni. Doutór sira uza teknolojia avansadu tebes. Sira uza aparellu médiku ida hanesan fixa expansível ida iha Teresinha nia fuan.

“Teresinha nia persisténsia kanál arteriál pelumenus boot doubru nian, kompara ho ema sira ne’ebé ami bainbain haree. Atu ami konsegue taka kuak iha Teresinha nia fuan ami ekipa médika, hetan dezafiu boot ida,” Dr Wilson dehan. 

“Ami konsegue taka duni kuak iha Teresinha nia fuan sem de halo open-heart (opera loke fuan). Ami uza de’it fixa expansível ne’ebé halo ho nitinól (hanesan ligadura ida halo ho titâniu ho nikél), hanesan hena ho manxas ho kustura iha laran holo poliéster. 

“Ami hatama fixa ne’e atravéz tubu trêz milímetrus nian tuir veia femurál, iha parte superiór ain leten nian. Tanba Teresinha nia defeitu iha fuan boot loos, entaun ami uza fixa oinseluk, la’ós hanesan sira seluk ami bainbain kustuma uza.

“Teresinha nia sirujia la komplikadu ida. Teresinha agora dadauk rekupera di’ak loos. Liu loron ida depois de Teresinha halo sirujia, ultra-som kardíaku ida hatudu katak kuantidade fluxu reziduál ki’ik duni mak suli iha persisténsia kanál arteriál . Ami espera katak Teresinha sei nota/ sente diferensa boot kompara ho sintomas ne’ebé uluk nia sente ho agora nian. Sertamente ke agora ninia expektativa de vida di’ak liu kompara ho uluk.”

Teresinha dehan katak durante nia moras fuan nia dada-iis la dia’k, oin-halai hela de’it, serbisu la di’ak no la bele iha oan tan. 

“Agora ha’u sente di’ak liu ona. Ha’u la bele hein atu fila ba serbisu. Maibé importante liu mai ha’u mak atu fila ba Timór atu haree ha’u-nia oan mane (nia fulan 6). Ha’u-nia oan ida de’it. Ha’u hadomi nia tebtebes,” Teresinha dehan.

“Ha’u atu hato’o ha’u-nia agradesimentu ba doutór sira no doadores sira ne’ebé ajuda ha’u atu halo tratamentu fuan nian iha Austrália. Liafuan obrigadu la to’o, maibé atu buka tan liafuan agradesimentu seluk la iha. Ha’u sei la haluha favór ne’ebé sira halo mai ha’u,”

Média kontatu: Ingrid Svendsen, +61 409 007 530




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