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Belizean boy gets life-saving heart surgery thanks to Rotary

Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017. 2:17 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: A 13-month-old baby boy from Belize diagnosed as having a hole in his heart successfully underwent a life-saving operation in New York thanks to the generosity of the White Plain Rotary Club.

Triston Martinez and his mother Elizabeth were flown to New York earlier this month after a team of visiting doctors from the U.S., performed a check-up on the boy and discovered the condition.

The operation was performed at the Maria Fareri Childrens’ Hospital in Valhalla, New York through the Rotary’s Gift of Life program.

“Without surgery, this child would most likely have serious medical issues during a life severely curtailed by his medical condition,” Jonathan Schere, president-elect of the White Plains Rotary Club said. Schere and his wife, Dorothy, hosted Triston’s stay.

The club underwrote the travel costs, and other expenses incurred. The hospital donated its facilities and a medical team for a small stipend, paid for with help from the Bronx Rotary Club. Another $1,205 was raised to help the family when they returned to Belize.

“The longtime motto of Rotary, ‘Service Above Self,’ was certainly realized in this project,” Schere added. “We all contributed and dedicated ourselves to Triston and his mom. This was another success in the Gift of Life program that helps save the lives of hundreds of children every year.”

The Rotary’s Gift of Life program began in 1975 and now works in almost 40 countries, helping children with life-threatening heart conditions get the medical treatment they need. More than 30,000 children  have received heart care through the program.

The White Plains club has sponsored a number of those who came to New York for surgery.



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