The volunteers donated Rs.1,000,000/- in aid of financially deprived heart patients.
WHY Heart to Heart TRUST FUND
The Heart to Heart Trust Fund is a charitable fund.The Heart To Heart Trust Fund is a beacon of hope for financially impoverished heart patients across the country. When treatment though cardiac surgery is beyond their financial means, the Fund revives their hopes by providing financial assistance to impoverished heart patients to help save their lives and brighten their future.
Our problem in Sri Lanka is the long waiting list for cardiac surgical intervention in the non-fee-levying Government hospitals – often one year or more at the NHSL and two years or more in Kandy, Galle and Jaffna. The long waiting list in the Government sector for cardiac surgery where timely surgical intervention is of the essence is the outcome of a combination of three factors – an inadequate number of ICU beds and operating theatres for cardiac surgeons and catheterization laboratories (Cath Labs) for cardiologists to perform percutaneous interventions such as stent placement (stenting), placement of artificial pacemakers and a highly inadequate number of cardiothoracic surgeons – a mere 13 in the whole Government sector. In Australia, which has a population similar to that of Sri Lanka, there are about 200 qualified cardiac surgeons while of course in many developing countries there are none at all.
Hence, when a long date is given to a heart patient where fast and timely intervention is of the essence to win the battle between life and death, the only available option then is to seek treatment in a fee levying hospital. In such instances, the cost to the patient – depending on the technique used in the case of surgery (keyhole/off pump/on pump) and post operative clinical complications if any - could roughly be anything between 550,000 rupees and 900,000 rupees in a private hospital, the comparative cost to the patient in the fee-levying semi-Government Sri Jayewadenepura General Hospital (SJGH) could be lower - varying between 350,000 rupees and 550,000 rupees on average in most cases.
The better off patients then naturally go to the private healthcare sector which has seven cardiac surgeons (including Indian surgeons) working full-time in addition to the Government sector cardiac surgeons who work in private hospitals in their non working hours after 4pm. To settle for this option and save their lives, financially impoverished patients can access assistance amounting to 200,000 rupees from the President’s Fund after going through a long and tiresome application procedure.
And this is where the Heart to Heart Trust Fund comes in. We provide financial support of another 150,000 rupees to 200,000 rupees and sometimes even more to patients who are supported by the President’s Fund as this will enable them to mobilize where possible the required balance from their own meagre resources.
WHAT INSPIRED THE FOUNDERS
Cardiothoracic surgeons with years of experience have seen patients undergoing emotionally traumatic experiences when grappling with financial difficulties to obtain timely treatment to save their lives. For a doctor, such experiences can be devastating.
It was when Dr Rajitha De Silva was working as a cardiac surgeon at the General Hospital in Colombo he came face-to-face with this reality and it was through these disturbing experiences that he developed the concept of evolving a fund to help poor patients to access cardiac surgery from the fee-levying sector in situations where waiting patiently for one’s turn on the long waiting list in a Government hospital could be fraught with risk and danger. Dr Ruvan Ekanayaka, the then Consultant Cardiologist at the General Hospital in Colombo shared with Dr Rajitha De Silva the same vision of wanting to save the lives of impoverished heart patients, and together we established the Heart to Heart Trust Fund in 2014. It is their belief that no heart patient in our country should lose his or her life on account of financial impoverishment. This is the noble thought that gives life and blood to the Heart to Heart Trust Fund.
RECENT NEWS & STORIES
HEART TO HEART TRUST FUND receives a donation of AUD (Australian Dollars) 94,820/=
‘Mighty of Heart, mighty of mind, magnanimous – to be this, is indeed to be great in life’ sums up the life of Mauri Antoinette Clare Sendapperuma. It was indeed a blessing when we were informed that a Sri Lankan domiciled in Australia had left over AUD 94,820/= in her last will to be donated to the Heart To Heart Trust Fund. To us, who have been involved in the journey of the Trust Fund and experienced the joys and the sorrows of people who would give anything to have a second chance at life, Miss Sendapperuma’s generosity was like being touched by an angel.