This November, a team of 21 medical specialists, including several from Children’s Hospital Boston, traveled to Kumasi, Ghana to care for children with congenital heart defects. As members of the non-profit organization Hearts and Minds of Ghana, the team is part of an ongoing effort to treat patients and train and educate local Kumasi medical professionals with the hopes that a self-sustaining pediatric cardiac center can soon be established in the region.
Lead by Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, surgical director of Children’s #1 ranked Heart Transplant program, surgical director of our Lung Transplant Program and a surgeon in our #1 ranked Cardiac Surgery Program, the Children’s team explains why they volunteer their time and efforts to the people of Ghana.
Cardiac surgeon Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, has had a busy year. First, he and his patient Sara Dumas were featured on the ABC program Boston Med when he transplanted a new heart into Sara. Now, he’s back in his home country of Ghana, where he’s leading a team of doctors, nurses and volunteers in an ongoing mission to perform much-needed open-heart surgery on children with complex heart conditions in a country with no pediatric cardiac surgeons.
Follow the efforts of the team as they blog from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. They’ve already gone through the grueling decision day (where the doctors and nurses decide which children are good candidates for surgery and which are not) and have operated on the first group of patients. Now begin full days of surgery, recovery and evaluation on kids whose lives will be changed forever by the Children’s team.
Dr. Fynn-Thompson and his mission to Ghana were featured on Good Morning America in 2008. Read the story and watch the piece by Dr. Tim Johnson here.
And, here, watch a video, created in the spring of 2008, in which Dr. Fynn-Thompson describes the mission.
In the following video Fynn-Thompson shares his thoughts on what it was like to work as a surgeon under the close scrutiny of ABC’s cameras.
Make sure you check in with us tomorrow, because Sara Dumas will share her story in an exclusive post for Thrive. The 18-year old heart transplant recipient will comment not only on her condition and Children’s experience, but also what it was like to undergo such a major medical procedure and lengthy hospital stay with camera crews capturing it all.
As always, check out thesmallandmighty.org, for exclusive, in depth and behind-the-scenes material as it relates to Children’s participation in Boston Med.