We are looking forward to a huge program in 2015, with more patients treated in Australia, more clinics conducted in Timor-Leste and some other exciting plans as well. Stay tuned!
Thanks to some amazing media coverage, on ABC TV's Foreign Correspondent and 7PM news, and on Channel 7's Nightly News and Sunrise program, lots more people got to hear about our work in 2014.
Young patients Lucas, Ana Clarita and Jeca captured Australian hearts as they went from desperately ill to enjoying normal childhoods. Father of two and school teacher Tomas also attracted significant public and media interest - especially when he attended the Run Melbourne fun run to cheer our team on only days after his heart procedure!
In February and August Dr Noel and the volunteer medical team conducted clinics with our partner Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, to check on patients who have had surgery and identify new candidates for assistance.
In March, Lucas, 16, had an operation at MonashHeart to repair a hole in his heart. The operation, performed by Professor Andrew Cochrane, was successful, and Lucas got his dream of being able to play soccer again.
In July tiny Ana Clarita, an emergency patient, had a successful mitral balloon procedure at MonashHeart; followed by Tomas in June.
In September, Agripino had a technically tricky valve repair at Royal Melbourne Hospital; while Jeca had a mitral balloon procedure at MonashHeart (and then told us his dream, was to be a doctor).
The East Timor Hearts Fund is working to raise $100,000 in cash and in-kind support annually to bring at least five young East Timorese to Australia for heart procedures each year.
In April and August 2013 our medical adviser Dr Noel Bayley made field trips to East Timor to identify new patients and check on those who have previously had surgery.
Five of the patients identified, 12 year old Arminda, and Maria, 33, had heart procedures at MonashHeart in May. Both are now doing well back in Timor-Leste. In June Leonito had double valve replacement surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital, and is recovering well.
In October and November Joaninha, 16, had a valve balloon procedure at MonashHeart and Marta, 19, had a valve repair at Royal Melbourne Hospital. Both have made specacular recoveries.
Since its establishment in late 2010 East Timor Hearts Fund has organised treatment for 15 patients, and we are proud to say that all are now doing well back in Timor-Leste.
In January 2012 three of our patients, Natalia Oranei, Christina Da Costa and emergency patient Sebastiana dos Reis, had procedures at MonashHeart in Melbourne.
We also finished 2012 on a satisfying note when we arranged valve replacement surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital for 22 year old mother of two Immaculada da Concencao.
In 2011 East Timor Hearts Fund medical adviser Dr Noel Bayley made three trips to Timor-Leste to conduct screening clinics, and identified three candidates for medical assistance in Australia.
Our successes include 23-year-old university student Marciano Da Costa Ximines Belo, who had a valve replacement at MonashHeart, and Maria Viegas, 17, who underwent a procedure at Royal Melbourne Hospital. Both are now in excellent health.