Team Heart is a non-profit medical organization focused on bringing sustainable cardiac care to Rwanda and East Africa. Our mission has three primary pillars: Prevention, Intervention and Education. Each year, we travel to Rwanda to perform screenings, heart operations and workshops with local Rwandan medical staff. We invite you to learn more about our mission, supporting our team (all donations are greatly appreciated), and volunteering.
Olive is a young teen living in rural Rwanda. When we met Olive, her heart valves had been severely damaged by recurrent strep infections and she suffered from rheumatic heart disease. She had been out of school for 3 years, and as the days passed, she struggled to walk any short distance without having to rest. Without an early diagnosis and treatment for her heart condition she needed heart surgery for her damaged valves. That’s when Olive’s mother learned that there was no cardiac center and no cardiac surgeon available in Rwanda. The only option was placing Olive on a national wait list for cardiac surgery and await the next round of surgeries by a visiting team.
Nine month ago, Team Heart volunteers received Olive among referred patients, and our team performed a valve replacement procedure to treat her aortic stenosis. Today, Olive is a 15 -year- old girl who is excited to finish another academic year and loves to talk about her plans after secondary schools. Your support has allowed our team to reach Olive and continue to show that cardiac surgery should be a right and not a privilege.
For each success story like Olive’s many more still need access to proper cardiac care or are waiting for a chance to receive a life-saving procedure. Since beginning our partnership with Rwanda, our team has reached more than 4,000 people and performed life-saving surgery on more than 100 patients. “In the recovery room, [The patients’] smiles light up the room with pride as they KNOW they have accomplished something with courage and determination. They just might do something amazing–now they have a chance–and nothing can hold them back!”—Ceeya Patton-Bolman, Team Heart Cofounder.
Our partnership with Rwanda has included addressing current burden while taking a long-term approach. As a result, we are inspired by your support and encouragement as we prepare our most ambitious project yet: building the first cardiac care center in Rwanda, and one of the first in East Africa. The cardiac care center represents a sustainable and shared vision that can impact millions of lives in Rwanda and the East African region. We want to invite you on this powerful journey.
You may be asking: why rural Africa? Or more specifically, why Rwanda? Rwanda has come out of one of the darkest periods in History to become a country with a resilient people and a success story– the country is now among fastest growing countries in Africa. Our first visit to Rwanda introduced us to a resilient people. The remaining challenges are not easy to solve but we strive to join our efforts with Rwanda in improving the lives of those affected by heart conditions in the country and surrounding region.
This is our next step. Will you join us?
Team Heart Gala 2016
Team Heart can reach several thousands more people, train more healthcare providers, help build stronger referral systems, and empower more lives. From believing in the notion of health care for all, to reaching the first one hundred patients, to serving thousands–we looked to strong social champion like yourself for support.
We would like to invite you to join us at the Team Heart Gala on May 19, 2016 in Boston, MA.We are honored to welcome the First Lady of Rwanda, Her Excellency Jeannette Kagame, as our Guest of Honor. Team Heart will also recognize Her Excellency Jeannette Kagame with the Team Heart Humanitarian Award for her work and dedication to impacting marginalized communities.
The Gala will be the official launch of the capital campaign towards the Rwanda Cardiac Care Center. The event will also be an opportunity to meet you in person, and thank you for your continued efforts. We look to invite you on our journey to build a hospital, one brick at a time.