Latest news from East Timor Hearts Fund
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October online clinic: Dr Joaquina Maurays, Anina (March surgical patient)  
with her son and Jess Harries
Providing continuity of care


On October 2nd, we held our first online clinic with patients in Timor-Leste and cardiologists in Melbourne and Sydney, to monitor patient health and continue to manage treatment options and medications.
We are so grateful to our Australian-based volunteer cardiologists Drs Liz Paratz, Will Wilson, Simon Eggleton, Virag Kushwaha and Noel Bayley, as well as our in-country partners at Maluk Timor, especially Dr Joaquina Maurays, Ricky Flavio, Jess Harries, Sergio da Silva, Juliana Sarmento and Anary dos Santos.

The clinic was a great success and an important step in keeping in touch with our patients during this constrained COVID-19 world.
It was also an important opportunity to check on how our March surgical patients are going. Those of you who have followed Anina’s journey (pictured) will be delighted to see her now looking so well post surgery. She is now thriving.
We are now planning more online clinics to complement our ongoing service provision in the future.

Our community pulling together

I am so amazed and thankful for the way all our volunteers and supporters pulled together to help keep momentum going during this very difficult year.
We have delivered a number of initiatives since our last newsletter, including:
- life-saving surgery for Jose at Royal Melbourne Hospital,
- our very successful inaugural online cardiac screening clinic, and
- delivery of thirty Buzzy Bee needle pain relief kits to Timor-Leste.
We were also delighted to thank our volunteers and supporters at our annual volunteer and supporter appreciation evening, where we also launched our awards program to recognise our fabulous and vital volunteers.

We are delighted to recognise some of our outstanding volunteers and partners with our inaugural awards. We are grateful for the contribution of all of our volunteers and partners who all work together to help improve access to cardiac care in Timor– Leste.
I would also like to thank our Operations Manager Diana Marques and Fundraising Manager Kim Gasperino for their massive contributions during what has been a turbulent and complex year.
Wishing all our volunteers, supporters, patients and friends a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas, new year and holiday season!


David Marlow
Chief Executive Officer
2020 annual Supporter event and inaugural awards
East Timor Hearts Fund’s volunteers, staff and partners came together online on December 2nd, for our annual Volunteer and Supporter Appreciation event. Hosted by our CEO David Marlow, the Supporter event was a great opportunity for us to thank our community of volunteers and supporters for their commitment over a very challenging 2020.
The event was also a celebration of our organisation’s triumphs while navigating our way through a time of unparalleled change this past year.
A highlight of this year’s event was the introduction our inaugural Volunteers and Partner of the Year Awards. David Marlow acknowledged that volunteers and partners are the back-bone of our organisation. We congratulate the following recipients of this year’s awards.
  • Richard Vallance Volunteer of the Year Award, named in honour of our great benefactor who loved our volunteer driven organisation - presented to James Dickie, Company Secretary and Membership Review Working Group member.
  • Dr Dan Murphy Clinical Volunteer of the Year Award, named in honour of our great friend, patient advocate and medical partner in Timor-Leste - presented to Dr Ari Horton, Paediatric Cardiologist.
  • Respect, Compassion and Integrity Volunteer Award - presented to Dr Virag Kushwaha, Interventional Cardiologist.
  • Optimism and Collaboration Volunteer Award - Belinda Macdonald, Director, Development Committee member and Membership Review Working Group member.
  • Partner of the Year Award - presented to the RHD Team at our great in-country partner Maluk Timor, providing essential support to our clinics, surgeries, penicillin program and much more.

Three minutes with... David Lloyd
New Board Chair

How did you become involved?
Everything about the East Timor Hearts Fund inspires me. The vision and insight of the founders Noel and Ingrid; the enormous dedication and skill of our clinical team; the generosity of our volunteers; and the passion the board brings to the Fund’s work – all in support of a clear and urgent need in Australia’s closest neighbour, Timor-Leste.
I have spent most of my career in higher education and research, working with Universities and charities to bring specialist expertise to bear on the needs of vulnerable communities where the need is greatest.  My current work centres around the establishment of a new cancer immunogenomics institute at the University of Adelaide.
And I am also Chair of a community public arts NGO based in New York called Artolution Inc, working in refugee camps and conflict zones around the world.
What does your role entail?
My role as board chair of the East Timor Hearts Fund is to take the reins from our founding former chair Ingrid, and do everything I can to build on her vision and leadership. She and other board colleagues have set a powerful and inspiring example over the first ten years, and led the creation of a firm foundation for the East Timor Hearts Fund with great skill and energy. I’m going to do everything I can to carry that legacy forward.
What do you do in your spare time?
Beyond my working life I’m an endurance sport tragic, and an enthusiastic if uncompetitive competitor at marathon and ironman triathlon events.

"Everything about East Timor Hearts Fund inspires me" - David
Providing care during challenging times
Medical roundup

It's a pleasure to be in touch with our supporters, with the Covid-19 crisis looking to be in hand, and the prospect of getting back to our patients. We haven’t been entirely inactive.
Jose, a Timorese man temporarily resident in  Australia, had very severe mitral valve disease which without surgery would have been lethal. Denied access to the Australian system, his prospects were bleak. We were able to support his surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital. The result, by Micheal O’Keefe and his team, was an outstandingly successful mitral valve repair and excellent long term prospects.
We’ve been most anxious about our patients in Timor-Leste awaiting procedures, and given in country clinics are off the agenda, established a virtual clinic with the assistance of Maluk Timor (doing in person checks and scans). Four of our cardiology team assessed and offered advice, medication adjustments etc remotely. So successful was it that we propose to add the service to our long term repertoire.
Two of the clinical team have been awarded internal acknowledgment of their remarkable contributions. Ari Horton, the inaugural Dr Dan Murphy Award (Dan would be delighted), and Virag Kushwaha the Respect, Compassion and Integrity Award. In both cases, people we’re proud to have on the team.
Finally, a farewell to our inaugural board chair, Ingrid Svendsen. We are where we are today as a consequence of her vision, energy, and application. The whole clinical team, and more importantly our patients, are in her debt.
Dr Noel Bayley
Honorary Medical Advisor

Four more people will live to see this Christmas

Ana (above), Maria, Anina and Jose are looking forward to spending another Christmas with loved ones, enjoying good health and a brighter future. Until their heart surgery this year, none of our surgical patients knew when their life would be cut short. 
We continue to adapt our various services during COVID-19 to improve patient access to critical heart health care. However, we cannot provide services without the generosity of our supporters. Donating to our Christmas appeal not only enables our essential prevention and education services to continue, but ensures we will have the capacity to perform life-saving operations to meet the increasing demand as soon as we are able. Our patients on our waiting list are clinging to the hope that they too can put an end to their distress, make it to another Christmas and look forward to a long healthy future .
Every life is precious. Ana, Maria, Anina and Jose are testament to how your ongoing support enables us to answer the call when our heart patients are in crisis - before it’s too late.
We don’t want another family to spend next Christmas without their loved one when their life could have been saved. Your gift today helps keep people alive while strengthening communities through heart health education, prevention and clinical care.
Please donate to this year’s Christmas appeal and help save more lives in Timor-Leste.

Donate now
Thank you for your commitment to saving lives in Timor-Leste
If you would like to volunteer and get involved, head to our website
Want to organise your own event? Download a copy of our fundraising guide
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