Rahiima Nalwoga is a 19 months old girl diagnosed at 6 weeks with Tetra-logy of Fallot with absent pulmonary Valve on 26th June 2019 at Uganda Heart Institute. This means her unique heart has ( a missing pulmonary valve, a large VSD – a large hole of about 9mm in diameter, obstructed outflow of blood from the right ventricle to the lungs (pulmonary stenosis) and a massively dilated main pulmonary artery.
Since her diagnosis, she has had several bouts of severe pneumonia (about seven times) being admitted to Uganda Heart Institute and put on oxygen. After evaluation of the severity of her condition, Cardiologists and surgeons at UHI advised seeking surgery outside Uganda because her condition could not be operated on from UHI. With all these defects, the Cardiologists and surgeons are of the view that she will need to have lifelong care including about 3 surgeries but currently Rahiima urgently needs her first full repair. Her first repair was to happen in May 2020 when she made a year but due to COVID-19 and travel bans, it didn’t happen.
Rahiima is the last born to two brothers and one sister. Her father is an IT engineer and her mother is a stay-at-home mum.
Rob Raylman is the Chief Executive officer for Gift of Life International. He assumed this role in 2008.
Rob is a life-long resident of New York State. He graduated Hobart College in 1984 with a BS in Political Science. Over the years, he worked for US Senator Alfonse D’Amato and held the position of Vice President for Browning-Ferris Industries (at the time, the second largest international solid waste company in the world). In 2008, Rob created the position of CEO for Gift of Life International. Since then, he was visited 38 countries on 5 continents to build the Gift of Life Global Network of 84 affiliates. During Rob’s tenure with Gift of Life International, 30 affiliates have been created while over 35,000 children have received care for their heart defects.
Rob focuses on strategically building bridges between Gift of Life programs, foreign Governments, Rotary Clubs and Districts, like-minded organizations and hospital administrations in order to address the Global Crisis of congenital heart defects.