Those words sum up the goal of our mission. In doing everything that we can ForHearts in need, we’re saving lives all around the world. Lives that would otherwise be cut short due to a lack of access to cardiovascular care.
Since our founding in 1984 as Heartbeat International Foundation, we have saved over 17,000 lives by providing life-saving cardiovascular devices, implantation procedures, and follow-up care to patients in more than 20 countries.
Working For Lives Saved—For Life
Every life is precious and every patient is unique. Just as unique are the lifelong relationships between our doctors and patients. Through our in-country Heart Centers and our generous doctors, we can ensure that every patient who receives a pacemaker also receives the necessary follow-up care. This care includes ongoing monitoring for device performance and battery life to ensure that the pacemaker does what it needs to – keep hearts beating.
With pacemakers lasting, on average, five to seven years, a pacemaker recipient may need multiple pacemakers over their lifetime. Thankfully, our patients don’t have to worry about where that next pacemaker is coming from.
“The aspect of ‘patient for a lifetime’ is truly that. It’s the lifetime of the patient, not the device,” emphasizes Laura DeLise, Executive Director of ForHearts.
So many of our medical and executive staff can count the patients living and thriving because of the ongoing care they receive through our network.
Dr. Benedict S. Maniscalco, Former Chairman of Heartbeat International Foundation, recalls, “on a recent trip to Mexico to one of our active Centers, I met a gentleman who has had six battery changes, so we, in essence, have provided a lifetime of therapy to him free of charge, and he’s alive and well and productive.”
Our ability to provide life-saving procedures and lifelong care to 17,000 patients and counting is made possible by the relationships and network we’ve established between device manufacturers and care providers.
“Device manufacturers provide donations to various places throughout the world on an as-needed basis, but ForHearts is the only organization that has created standing Heart Centers that continuously provide this service to their communities,” explains Dr. Thomas Crawford, Chairman and Medical Director. “There really isn’t an organization outside of ForHearts that connects device manufacturers to this type of avenue… It’s unique in the sense that no other organization does this on the scale that ForHearts does.”
It truly takes a village to provide this life-saving care. ForHearts works with various specialized individuals across multiple countries to connect patients with life-saving cardiac devices and care. The scale of this work can be seen in every life that is saved, like Arturo Seguro of Mexico. Arturo received his first life-saving pacemaker as a child. His surgery was performed in-country by cardiologist Ricardo Meneses. Arturo is now in his twenties and continues to see Dr. Meneses for follow-up care and device monitoring. All because of the work of ForHearts.
There are 17,000 more stories just like this, and we hope to see 17,000 more!
For 17,000 More Lives Saved
Our relationships with device manufacturers, volunteer doctors, in-country Heart Centers, and lifelong commitment to patients have placed us in a unique position to expand the reach of our mission. We know we can save 17,000 more lives by utilizing our resources and relationships to expand the cardiovascular care and procedures we provide ForHearts in need.
The idea of diversifying how we care ForHearts to save even more lives has been percolating for nearly a decade now. It’s a goal Dr. Crawford has embraced as he has stepped into the Chairman role.
“We are ready to broaden our scope of work to include non-pacemaker functions, such as the provision of stents and valves for the hearts,” he says. “There are other opportunities we may undertake as we go forward and grow the organization.”
This endeavor is a shared passion for every member of ForHearts—our staff, doctors, donors, and partners. As we expand the reach of our mission, we will continue treating patients for life and saving lives for years to come.