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Brenda Small (GOLI), Dr. Tiffany Williams (Anesthesiologist), Ivonne Lopez (Latidos de Esperanza), Dr. Kevin Shannon (Electrophysiologist), Dr. Heather Shannon (Paediatrician), Dr. Claire Newlon (Electrophysiologist)

Brenda Small (GOLI), Dr. Tiffany Williams (Anesthesiologist), Ivonne Lopez (Latidos de Esperanza), Dr. Kevin Shannon (Electrophysiologist), Dr. Heather Shannon (Paediatrician), Dr. Claire Newlon (Electrophysiologist)

In the heart of El Salvador, amidst the bustling energy of San Salvador, unfolds a story of hope, dedication, and groundbreaking medical intervention.

This week marks the commencement of the 9th Annual Electrophysiology Visit, a pivotal moment for children battling heart rhythm disorders in this vibrant city. A moment of hope.

At the helm of this life-changing mission is Dr. Kevin Shannon from UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, leading a team of experts on a quest to alter the destinies of 24 young hearts. In partnership with our global network, Fundacion Latidos de Esperanza, Regalo de Vida El Salvador, and HeartGift, Gift of Life International is using the donations we receive to change the lives of these children.

I will be spending time with the volunteers, the local medical team, and the children whose lives they are saving.

A Day of New Beginnings

Children and parents waiting to be screened and selected today.

Children and parents waiting to be screened and selected today.

Children and parents waiting to be screened and selected today.

Today, Sunday March 10, 2024, dawned with a flurry of activity at Benjamin Bloom Hospital, signaling the start of a week dedicated to transforming lives. Twenty four children, carrying the weight of Wolfe Parkinson White (WPW) Syndrome and Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT) in their delicate hearts, were carefully selected for treatment.

These conditions, characterized by rapid heartbeats, are not just medical terms but represent hurdles in the path of these young lives — hurdles that Dr. Shannon and his team are here to help overcome.

Dr. Francisco Delgado (Salvadoran Cardiologist) and Dr. Claire Newlon explain to one of the patients about the procedure she will undergo.

Dr. Francisco Delgado (Salvadoran Cardiologist) and Dr. Claire Newlon explain to one of the patients about the procedure she will undergo.

Adding to the anticipation, four more teenagers are poised to join this hopeful journey by Friday, pending their final evaluations.
The meticulous planning underscores a singular, noble goal: to ensure that all 24 children receive the chance at a healthier, brighter future within the coming week.

The Symphony of Preparation

Dr. Kevin Shannon listens to the heartbeat of this little patient whose heart will be healed this week.

Dr. Kevin Shannon listens to the heartbeat of this little patient whose heart will be healed this week.

The visiting team’s arrival at Bloom Hospital was more than just a moment; it was the beginning of a symphony of preparation and expertise converging in the cath lab.

Unpacking supplies, setting up state-of-the-art electrophysiology equipment, and coordinating medications — each action was a note in the melody of meticulous care and preparation.

As evening settled over San Salvador, five brave young patients were admitted to the hospital, ready to embark on their journey toward healing on today.

Their admittance symbolizes more than just the start of medical procedures; it represents a beacon of hope for their families and the community at large.

The Heartbeat of El Salvador

Salvadoran Cardiology Coordinator Miranda, Dr. Heather Shannon, Dr. Kevin Shannon, Dr. Tiffany Williams, Dr. Claire Newlon, and Brenda Small

Salvadoran Cardiology Coordinator Miranda, Dr. Heather Shannon, Dr. Kevin Shannon, Dr. Tiffany Williams, Dr. Claire Newlon, and Brenda Small

This week’s electrophysiology visit is a testament to the power of global collaboration, medical innovation, and sheer human will to make a difference.

Each child treated for WPW Syndrome and SVT is a step towards debunking the notion that advanced cardiac care is beyond reach in developing countries.

Dr. Tiffany Williams examines a patient to ensure that his airway is clear prior to his procedure.

Dr. Tiffany Williams examines a patient to ensure that his airway is clear prior to his procedure.

As the team at Benjamin Bloom Hospital forges ahead with their mission, they carry with them the hopes and prayers of families, the admiration of their peers, and the grateful hearts of those they serve.

This week in San Salvador is not just about correcting heart rhythms; it’s about setting the pace for a future where every child has access to life-saving cardiac care.

In the grand scheme of things, the success of programs like the Annual Electrophysiology Visit may appear as mere statistics, but the reality is far more profound. What you can’t absorb from these pictures, is that feeling of hope. The joyful, excitement that comes from knowing that today is the day things get better.

Each number represents a life touched, a family-given hope, and a future reclaimed.

It’s a reminder that in the realm of global health, every effort counts, no matter how daunting the journey may seem.

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