Passing on the Passion

 Two of our Patients in Ethiopia.

Two of our Patients in Ethiopia.


For decades we have witnessed the catastrophic effects of Rheumatic heart disease. It kills and debilitates young people. This disease affects girls more than boys, frequently killing them during their first pregnancy. For years we have trained teams to screen large groups of young people to look for signs of early disease so that the children can be put on medication to prevent the heart damage. We have also been looking for partners to train in minimally invasive procedures that can reverse some of the damage caused by the disease. We are pleased to say that we have identified partners in Ethiopia and Kenya who are willing to be trained in this procedure. It is an answer to many prayers.

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The cathaterization laboratory team in Addis Abba

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April 2018

We met Patience in Cameroon last November. She is a 23 year old with mitral stenosis from Rheumatic heart disease.

 Patience (on the right) with her caregiver Christobel

Patience (on the right) with her caregiver Christobel

Patience was very restricted by her disease. Hardly able to carry out daily activities. Her family was very anxious to do what ever they could to give her a full life. Arrangements were made to have her flown to Kenya when we were there. We met her at the airport and drove with her and her caregiver to Tenwek hospital for a balloon valve procedure. On arrival at the hospital, she was barely able to walk the distance to her hospital room.

Patience was one of nine young people that we did the valve procedure on that trip. Thankfully all did well.

 Kenya crew April 2018 left to right Amalin Sorajja Gathum Reddy, Jonathan Schwartz, Paul Sorajja and Ron Johannsen. Not pictured Colleen Johannsen.

Kenya crew April 2018 left to right Amalin Sorajja Gathum Reddy, Jonathan Schwartz, Paul Sorajja and Ron Johannsen. Not pictured Colleen Johannsen.

A couple of days after her procedure Patience was up walking around the hospital grounds. It was a wonderful sight to see.

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When Patience returned home to Cameroon her family had a big celebration and her name was officially changed to Joy.

Remember Adokorach?

Do you remember Adokorach? She is the patient we met in DR Congo who had massive clots in her atrium. See blog Aug 9th 2016. She was put on long term anti-coagulation to deduce her risk of Stroke. We were eventually able to get her to Kenya when we were there and she had a her mitral valve replaced. We are happy to let you know that she had a successful delivery of her baby. With constant care from Dr. Pappy things went well. Merry Christmas.

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