Jeff and I took our first trip to Leon, Nicaragua in 2009 to implant pacemakers and defibrillators. On our first trip we brought 7 pacemakers to implant, but we saw many many more patients needing devices to be able to lead normal lives. It broke our hearts to leave so many untreated, but we vowed that we would return to treat everyone who needed help. Since that time, we have made 15 trips and are now taking 2-3 specialty cardiologists, 10 additional support staff and students and are implanting over 20 devices and completing 5-10 ablations per trip for Nicaraguans who have no money to pay for the surgeries or the devices. Over the years we have worked tirelessly to expand the menu of cardiac services we can provide the indigent people of Nicaragua. On each trip we all volunteer our time and talents and pay all of our own travel expenses. 100% of your donation goes directly to taking care of Nicaraguan patients.
In 2014 we met Silvio Mairena Torrez. Silvio, whom I would characterize as a quiet and gentle giant, is 39 years old and came to our clinic complaining of rapid heart rates lasting up to 7 hours. An EKG showed a potentially fatal heart rhythm that required ablation to correct. Unfortunately the equipment we have in Nicaragua is not as advanced as we would like. All of the equipment is donated by American hospitals and the donations usually replace old technology with new. We receive older technology to build our systems there. We attempted to ablate Silvio with our equipment on 3 occasions, and those ablations were unsuccessful. After the last procedure, we were able to determine that he has a rate condition that cannot be treated in Nicaragua. We decided to try to bring Silvio to the United States to complete his complex ablation in a modern electrophysiology lab.
We have secured the donation of the hospital stay and services from Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida so Silvio can come to their facility for the ablation, and Jeff will be doing the ablation free of charge, but we need your help to get Silvio here. With an annual income of $2,400 in Nicaragua, Silvio and his mother do not have the financial means to pay for the trip to Florida.
Many of you have watched and participated in our efforts in Nicaragua over the years, and we would love for you to partner with us in bringing Silvio and his mother to the U.S. for this life saving ablation. Silvio and his family live every day with the knowledge that his heart could stop beating at any moment. When we fix his arrhythmia, he is set free from this constant worry. Your donation will go directly toward purchasing airline tickets, lodging, food and expenses for his trip to America. Please send what you can. I can already tell you how grateful Silvio and we are for your help. Project Health for Leon is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible. To learn more about our work and Project Health for Leon, click on the "PHL Website" button.