ICHF ended 2014 with its 20th trip to Guayaquil, Ecuador, traveling from Dec. 6 to 20. Operating at Hopsital del Niños Dr. Francisco de Ycaza Bustmante, the team of 20 ICHF volunteers saved the lives of 18 patients from 2 months to 14 years old.
Our team came from all over the world for this trip, including volunteers from the United States, Canada, Chile and Norway. In addition to the normal volunteer roles, three medical students, a surgical resident and a non-medical volunteer traveled to Guayaquil as part of the ICHF team.
The non-surgical volunteer was a young man from Memphis who had heart surgery when he was a child. He knows the impact of ICHF’s mission on young people all over the world, and he wanted to be able to be a part of the trip however he could. As a man of many roles on the trip, he moved and unpacked boxes, retrieved supplies when needed, visited with family and patients in ICU and volunteered in the operating room with the perfusionist.
In addition to all of the wonderful volunteers that made this trip possible, ICHF feels grateful to have had the support of Gift of Life of New Jersey. The organization funded a successful pulmonary valve replacement surgery for Jose Beltran.
In addition, we want to send a big thank you to Fundación El Cielo Para Los Niños del Ecuador for its continued support of ICHF. The local organization refers patients, coordinates our meals in the hospital, provides transportation to and from the airport, hotel and hospital, as well as helps us with whatever we need while we are in Ecuador.
We encourage you to take a look at the upcoming medical volunteer and non-medical volunteer opportunities that ICHF has to offer as well as ways you can donate to make more surgeries like Jose’s possible.