Gift of Life International CEO visits Sri Lanka

Saturday, 7 April 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Rob Raylman, CEO of Gift of Life International, a Rotarian-based organisation which operates with a global mission to heal the failing hearts of thousands of children, visited Sri Lanka recently to discuss and extend the ongoing support of the organisation to Sri Lanka. 

During his visit, Rob Raylman met the Health and Indigenous Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and assured the organisation’s support for the waiting list of Children with congenital heart problems at the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo. 

In 2016, Gift of Life Sri Lanka funded the ‘After working hour cardiothoracic surgery’ program at the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital by paying US$ 1,000 per surgery. With this initiative, the organisation was able to fuel hope for children with (CHD) by enabling them to undergo heart surgery before they reached adulthood.  

Extending the support, Gift of Life Sri Lanka has sponsored a two phase nurse training programme at the Lady Ridgeway hospital as there is a need to enhance the skills of the critical care nurses in order to improve patient outcomes.

Due to certain logistical issues that are being sorted out at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Gift of Life Sri Lanka with the help of donors performed 23 heart surgeries on children at Asiri Surgical Hospital recently.  

It is estimated that in Sri Lanka, for every 1,000 new-borns, there are six to eight born with congenital heart problems (CHD). 

A total of 329,000 live births occurred in Sri Lanka and as a result 2,000-2,700 children are born with CHD each year. Two thirds out of them (about 1,300-1,800) will need surgery/intervention for their heart lesions to be corrected. With treatment, 85-90% of them reach adulthood.

The Gift of Life Sri Lanka is committed to working towards establishing a sustainable medical community in Sri Lanka by assisting underprivileged children, healthcare professionals and other relevant health professionals with nutritional food, skills transfer, state-of-the-art essential equipment and as well as supplemental supplies.

Commenting on the visit, Raylman said: “It’s an honour to visit Sri Lanka. We are proud to see the commitment and the leadership displayed by Local health professionals towards this cause. 

Since 1975, through our global network of caring, we have provided hope to more than 30,000 children with the help of our 81 affiliates around the world. I would like to extend my gratitude to Gift of Life International Director Jay Liyanage, Attorney-at-Law  Nithi Murugesu who created the framework for Gift of Life Sri Lanka, Vice Chairman Asoka Wickramasinghe who facilitated the meeting with the Health Minister, Director Doulat Kundanmal who put the initial effort during GOL-SL formative stage, DGN Karunakaran for assisting with fund raising initiatives, Dr. Ramasubbu who was an instrumental fundraiser and innovated the alternative location site at Asiri Surgical Hospital, Rotary Club President Chamath Kulasinghe, Tara Cooray, Directors, Nimal Samrakkody and Rajiv Walpita, Niran Nugara and Theresa, Nedra Wickremasinghe, Heinz Reuter, and Honorary Rotarian Zarani and his camera crew for capturing every child treated.”