By Salman Mubarak
A team of Cardiologists from Knoxville, Tennessee, USA visited Multan. The Rotary Club Multan Cantt hosted the team for dinner at Ramada Hotel last night.
The team members include:
- Bruce Jones
- Yasir Akhtar
- Scott Frazier.
They came on a medical mission and are performing procedures for the first time in Punjab. They are also training the local cardiologists here.
The procedure is called TAVR.
Yasir Akhtar MD from Tennessee USA explained that TAVR stands for ‘Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement’. They have been performed in Karachi and possibly in Pindi as well. It was the first time the procedure was performed in Southern Punjab.
Yasir Akhtar said: “However, we do not want to give the community the perception that this replaces surgical valve replacement. Surgery is still the gold standard. TAVR is meant for patients when it is too risky to do surgery. TAVR programs should always be led by a surgeon. Surgeons need to be the gate-keepers or otherwise, this procedure will be over-utilized. In the US, 2 heart surgeons have to approve TAVR before the procedure can be carried out.”
Dr. Bruce MD further explained: “We used the latest generation Edwards Sapien 3 Valve. The other valve by Medtronic is also made in the US. I believe, however, the $15000 is the other generation CoreValve and is made from pigs as opposed to the cow valve”.
Edward Life Sciences manufactures the Sapien 3 valve, the ones that were used today and yesterday.
The compassion of these fantastic human beings and medical professionals is highly commendable. They have come all the way for this noble cause and brought these kits with them which costs $32500 a piece and includes a valve and delivery system.
A total of 5 procedures will be performed totally free at Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Institute of Cardiology, Multan.
What is worth mentioning is that they were donated by humans who should be called angels. They have chosen to stay anonymous.
Rotary Club Multan Cantt is screening 1800 children for congenital heart disease in special education schools. There is a large number of patients who have been on the waiting list for a long time and sometimes the wait is as long as 3 years as there is only one cardiac surgeon in the whole of south Punjab and therefore children face the risk of dying.
The need to bring in a team of cardiologists, anesthesiologists and nurses were highly stressed by Salman Mubarak, Charter President, Rotary Club Multan Cantt.
The request was enthusiastically acknowledged by the visiting cardiologists. It was resolved that efforts will be made to make this happen soon in the near future and that this mission will become an annual event.
It was a great spending time with these amazing humans this evening.
Their passion to serve humanity is incredible. It was truly an amazing experience talking to them. I wish we had more people like them. The world would be so different.
Though this is the city of saints, we met some real angels in shape of these doctors.
I have now realized that as pain, disease and sickness know no borders, the power of human compassion and the love for humanity have no limits as well and transcend geographical boundaries.
This visit is a shining example of international volunteerism to help humanity win.
Special thanks to Dr. Rana Altaf, Executive Director, Chaudry Pervaiz Ilahi, Institute of Cardiology and Chief of the Hospital Dr Ijaz for their valuable time in making this happen.
My prayers and good wishes to this energetic and compassionate team for doing such great work.
Some comments from the team members:
It was such a pleasure meeting you and sharing time with you. Your hospitality is greatly appreciated. I feel I have met a new friend that I will share for life. We all share one humanity and as stewards of this planet, we must love one another and take care of one another. I look forward to returning on a yearly basis, God willing. My kind regards to your family." - Bruce Jones
"Asslam allaikum. This is Dr Yasir. Thank you again for a wonderful evening and the hospitality. Wonderful to meet philanthropists like yourself." - Yasir Akhtar
"Thank for the welcome and your kind words and hospitality. I have the warmth of God ever since I arrived." - Scott Frazier
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.