Heart Mercy Mission team soon after their arrival at BIA
SriLankan Airlines dfacilitate the air travel of the Take Heart Mercy Mission (www.takeheartmercymission.com), a team of medical specialists from the United Kingdom who travel to Sri Lanka every year to perform life-saving heart surgery on young children with life-threatening heart defects.
This is the 12th consecutive year that the medical team from Evelina Children’s Hospital in London (www.evelinalondon.nhs.uk) has undertaken this remarkable project, by which it has so far performed life-saving heart surgery on more than 200 children with congenital heart defects.
The team arrived Sri Lanka on Thursday on UL flight from London and will be performing heart surgeries at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Karapitiya, Galle, the largest tertiary care centre in the Southern Province. It will carry out its mission over a seven day period, and intends to perform 21 heart surgeries this year. The team comprises cardiac surgical, anaesthetic and intensive care personnel.
The Take Heart Mercy Mission is the brainchild of Conal Austin and John Simpson. In 2012 the Mission became the official charity of the Gillingham Football Club of Gillingham, Kent, in England, whose Chairman, Paul Scally, is a close friend of Austin and Simpson.
This will also be a valuable opportunity for medical staff of Karapitiya Hospital and medical students of the University of Ruhuna’s Faculty of Medicine to learn new skills from the British team who will conduct daily lecture programmes, teaching practical operative experience, anaesthetic instructions and consultant-led specialist intensive care management.
Simultaneously, members of the Gillingham Football Club Community Trust will conduct a five-day Soccer Coaching Camp at nearby St. Aloysius College, Galle, teaching hundreds of school children the finer points of the sport. The GFC Community Trust programme is also an annual event as part of the Mercy Mission.