Children's Hospital Boston team returns to Ghana to perform heart surgeries
Hospital Web site provides online diary of medical mission
March 10, 2008
This week a 26-member multidisciplinary team of cardiac doctors, nurses, technicians and volunteers will be providing life-saving medical care to the children of Ghana. Led by Dr. Francis Fynn-Thompson, a cardiac surgeon at Children's Hospital Boston who spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in Ghana, the team is scheduled to evaluate and perform surgeries on children and infants with heart disease and anomalies. The doctors will be seeing patients in the city of Kumasi at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) at the University of Ghana where the Dr. Fynn-Thompson and his team will also be providing education and training to the local medical personnel on treating children with heart defects.
The stories and medical progress of the patients and doctors is being chronicled on a special "Children's in Ghana" Web site, at http://childrensinghana.typepad.com. The site will feature daily commentary and photos of the scene in Kumasi.
Dr. Francis Fynn-ThompsonThis is the second medical mission to Ghana made by Dr. Fynn-Thompson and his team. Last October, medical history was made at KATH when doctors performed the nation's first open-heart pediatric surgery on a young African girl named Sameera. She underwent successful surgery for closure of a ventricular septal defect, also known as "a hole in the heart." The surgery was the first of eight cardiac procedures the medical team performed during their first visit to Ghana last fall.
There are five more medical trips to Ghana scheduled over the next two years. The International Variety Club Children's Lifeline Program has been the major benefactor of the mission. Dr. Fynn-Thompson inaugurated a Ghana Pediatric Heart Fund which will allow local individuals and organizations in Ghana to support his vision through donations. The first donation of $10,000 was made on behalf of the Asantehene, King Otumfuo Osei Tutu, King of the Ashanti people, the largest ethnic group in Ghana.
The multidisciplinary team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons treating patients in Ghana include: Dr. Francis Fynn-Thompson, Dr. Ravi Thiagarajan and Dr. Mark Scheurer from Children's Hospital Boston; Dr. Vipin Metha, cardiac anesthesiologist, and Dr. Judy Becker, pediatric cardiologist, from Massachusetts General Hospital; and Dr. George Ofori-Amanfom of the cardiac intensive care unit at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Children's Hospital Boston is one of the nation's premier pediatric medical centers. Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, today it is a 397-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, the largest provider of health care to the children of Massachusetts, and home to the world's leading pediatric research enterprise. For more information about Children's, visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.