News and Updates

Take Heart Kenya open heart surgery mission

The Emirates Airline Foundation sponsored travel for a team of volunteer heart surgeons and medical professionals from the US, working with the organisation Take Heart, on a mission that delivered successful open heart surgeries to 12 young patients in Kenya. Take Heart is a project committed to helping children suffering from birth defects and cardiac illness.

The Emirates Airline Foundation is a long-time supporter of Take Heart sponsoring numerous missions to Kenya over the years, including a two-week cardiac camp, a cardiac surgery and training mission, open heart surgery mission and a paediatric heart surgery mission.

During Take Heart’s latest mission, the open heart surgery team travelled to Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya for a ten-day surgical mission. The team comprised of surgical and critical care staff from Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine and from Bronson Hospital in Michigan.

During the mission, approximately 50 patients were seen in cardiology clinics. Some of the patients were those that had previously undergone surgery at Tenwek, some were worked up to receive surgery from subsequent teams coming to Tenwek in early 2019, and some were new patients selected to receive surgery during this visit. 12 patients with congenital heart defects or rheumatic heart disease, ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years, underwent open heart surgery.

The mission also served to provide clinical teaching to the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff that serve at Tenwek Hospital. Kenyan staff and the Take Heart team worked together to provide care to each patient.

"We are most grateful to the Emirates Airline Foundation for partnering with our team by providing flights from the US to Kenya for the volunteer medical staff,” said Robert Groom, Cardiovascular Perfusionist and team leader. “The provision of transportation made it possible for our team to provide care to many children during our visit. The Emirates Airline Foundation’s continued support also makes it possible for these children to receive follow up care."

If you would like to help future missions like this one, you can donate your Skywards Miles to the Emirates Airline Foundation. Skywards Miles donations are used to allocate tickets to doctors and other volunteer professionals travelling on humanitarian missions around the world.

To learn more about how to donate Miles, log in to your Emirates Skywards account.

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