Everything we do, we do ForHearts in need. Of course, this mission would not be possible without the in-country volunteers, community groups, doctors, and medical staff that make up our International Heart Centers. They are our “boots on the ground,” so to speak.
Our Heart Center operations are unique in every country. In some countries, it is an office run by members of the local Rotary Club and volunteers, connecting those in need with volunteer medical staff. In others, it is a medical center or a hospital where doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and researchers all donate their time and skill. In most cases, it is a combination of all these individuals and entities coming together to provide for those in need of life-saving heart procedures.
Answering the Call to Serve
In the Philippines, one of those community members is Camilo Ramirez, former president of the Rotary Club of Manila Bay. Mr. Ramirez first learned about ForHearts in 2005 (also known as Heartbeat International Foundation) when a former classmate reached out to him about the Rotary Club of Manila Bay sponsoring a pacemaker bank in collaboration with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
“I learned about Heartbeat International from Dr. Rogelio Tangco, an interventional cardiologist and Chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory of the UP-PGH,” explains Mr. Ramirez.
That former classmate’s request set Ramirez in motion toward helping establish Heartbeat International of the Philippines in 2006, with Dr. Tangco serving as Medical Director and Ramirez leading the coordination and administration. Thanks to their work over the last 16 years, ForHearts now has three active Heart Centers in the Philippines, each partnered with local hospitals to facilitate pacemaker implantation procedures, patient care, and follow-up assistance. In all, 568 hearts in need have been helped, with a goal to save 1,000 more lives within the next five years.
“Our goal is to have more partner repository and implant centers around the country,” says Ramirez, which will enable ForHearts to extend our reach.
Ramirez emphasizes the importance of volunteer participation and fundraising support, particularly by the Rotary Club of Manila Bay, enabling “Heartbeat International of the Philippines [to] continue with its work of saving indigent lives beset with heart disease.”
One of those lives is Danelle Carino. As Ramirez shares, Carino “was only eight days old when she was inserted with a pacemaker because of a congenital heart block. She is now a healthy 11-year-old who enjoys life as any child of her age does.” And more importantly, like any child her age should. The belief that no child should have their life cut short due to a lack of access to modern medical technology drives us to do everything we can ForHearts in need. For our volunteers, doctors, and community members, it is also their driving force.
“I have made ForHearts a life commitment,” emphasizes Ramirez. “I am most thankful for the opportunity to serve.”
Sponsoring Those in Need for Life
The work of our Heart Centers and volunteers is what enables us to provide ongoing care ForHearts in need around the world. Our ForHearts patients are patients for life!
In Mexico, our ForHearts community is raising funds to sponsor pacemaker and defibrillator implantation procedures. The cost of these procedures is 400,000 pesos for a defibrillator and 100,000 pesos for every pacemaker—well beyond what many patients in need can possibly afford.
Through the work of their Pacemaker Implantation Program, the Rotarians of Campestre Aguascalientes have sponsored eight implantation surgeries over the last year. One of those was for Mr. Rosario Torres Hernandez, who, at 77, received his eighth device from ForHearts.
“What determines the meaning of our life is what we have done in the lives of others.” This quote from Nelson Mandela is the theme of the Pacemaker Implantation Program and one the supporters and volunteers live out every day.
It echoes the mission of our Heart Centers and of every individual involved–from the volunteers and community groups who help sponsor and connect patients in need to life-saving care to the nurses, doctors, and medical facilities who give of their time and expertise. It truly takes a global village to come together and serve those in need.
Join our community and support ForHearts in need. Explore our donation opportunities.