This September, Dr. Cynthia Tracy and cardiology fellow, Dr. Bianca Ummat, traveled to Centro Medico Comayagua Colonial Hospital in Comayagua, Honduras, for the Institute's sixth annual Medical Mission. During the two-week mission, the GW team evaluates heart failure and arrhythmia patients, implanting free pacemakers and defibrillators in at-risk patients of all ages.
Our annual trip to Honduras has become an important part of cardiac therapy in Honduras. Since 2010, Dr. Tracy has acquired more than $2,500,000 in donated heart devices to support the Mission allowing the team to evaluate more than 500 heart patients and implant 191 heart pacemakers and defibrillators.
On this trip, the GW medical team, also included Fernando Najera and Carlos Moss, and Sean Farrell of Medtronic. This year 33 devices were implanted and a record was set in the follow up clinic. It was heart warming and very gratifying to see 82 of our device follow up patients. In addition 103 new patients were evaluated and treated.
During the 2014 Medical Mission, Drs. Tracy and Mercader identified a patient with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a hole in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. Dr. Tracy coordinated with the Embassy of Honduras to arrange for the patient to travel to Washington, DC for treatment at George Washington University Hospital. Drs. Jonathan Reiner and Mike Slack donated their time to perform an ASD closure using a new catheterization technique that does not require surgery. Travel for the patient was sponsored by the GW Heart & Vascular Institute. GW Hospital provided all care at no cost to the patient.
The Institute extends a special note of gratitude to all the kind sponsors who have made this annual Mission possible.