Australia’s a lucky country. For most Australians a visit to the doctor or hospital means a short drive. But that’s not the case for our friends and neighbours in Timor-Leste. There, many people live in isolated and remote places and have to walk for hours to get to the nearest basic health care or travel for days to reach a city hospital.
Our latest patient Roberto is one example. Roberto, 29, comes from the isolated western district of Oecusse. Even though he was gravely ill, in September Roberto had to undertake the arduous 300 km two-day journey by bus and ferry from his home in the isolated western enclave of Oecusse to the capital of Dili, so that our doctors could diagnose his rheumatic heart disease.
Roberto is one of the fortunate ones. He’s just had a double heart valve replacement operation in Australia. But with one in 28 young people in Timor-Leste suffering from rheumatic heart disease, there are many more like Roberto.
That’s why we have launched the Every Heart, Everywhere appeal, so that in 2019 we can send our volunteer medical team to some of the most rugged and inaccessible corners of Timor-Leste.
We need to raise $25,000 by 24 December to mount our first remote area mission of 2019 in February, and deliver on our goal of providing heart screening for more than 300 people from remote areas next year.
Funds raised by the Every Heart, Everywhere appeal will also support education and preventative health programs in remote areas and help East Timor Hearts Fund provide follow up care for those who need it.
Can you chip in, to help us raise $25,000 by 24 December?
Donate to the Every Heart, Everywhere appeal
To mount these remote area missions, we need to charter light aircraft and hire four wheel-drive vehicles. We need logistical specialists, pilots and drivers to transport and support our volunteers. We also need specialist equipment. The machines used in hospitals for heart screening are the size of a washing machine. To go out on the road to remote areas, our volunteer medical team needs a portable device, which is about the size of a laptop computer.
A kind supporter has offered to match all donations made before midnight on 24 December. So if you contribute before Christmas Eve, you can double the value of your donation at no extra cost to you.
Donate before 24 December and double the value of your donation!
Thank you in advance for helping East Timor Hearts Fund to deliver heart health help for Every Heart, Everywhere.
Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
Although gravely ill, school teacher Roberto spent days travelling 300 km by bus and ferry from his home in the isolated western province of Oecusse to the capital of Dili, where our volunteer medical team diagnosed his critical rheumatic heart disease. Roberto is one of the lucky ones – he has just returned home after life-saving surgery in Australia.
Timor-Leste has amongst the world’s highest rates of rheumatic heart disease, so there are many more who need our help.
"I know how lucky I am,” Roberto said.
“I hope the volunteer medical team can come to Oecusse and other remote areas next year so that other heart patients can have the same opportunity. I hope everyone gives generously to the Every Heart Everywhere appeal."
Choosing festive gifts can be a challenge, so why not give your friends and family a gift from the heart? After you've donated to the Every Heart, Everywhere campaign, you can download and print a gift certificate that you can customise for your loved one.
Download your certificate from the Get Involved page of our website.
Thank you to all of our generous donors and we wish you and yours a very happy festive season.