Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun


NZ-Based Heart Foundation Give Young Fijians New Lease Of Life

NZ-Based Heart Foundation Give Young Fijians New Lease Of Life
Baby Amanda Latchman is surrounded by (from left): Dr Khizar Niazi, Dr Losalini Ravulo Leweniqila, Amanda’s father Emmanuel, mother Jernat and Dr Adam Dennison on September 12, 2017. Photo: Charles Chambers
September 14
11:00 2017


The first floor of the Lautoka Hospital was a hive of activity, joy and deep appreciation for the New Zealand-based Hearts 4 Kids Foundation team.

The team of heart surgeons and nurses conducted successful operations for 19 children from different parts of Fiji.

Led by Paediatric Cardiologist Dr John Wright, the 32 medical personnel, comprising surgeons, anaesthetists, profusionists, nurses and support staff members, carried out the final operation on Tuesday.

One patient, Senikaili Cuna, 14, of Yako Village in Nadi, however, is the only patient who will have to have her operation done at the Starship Hospital in Auckland.

The paediatrician consultant at the Lautoka Hospital, Dr Losalini Ravulo Leweniqila said Senikaili has a rheumatic heart problem and carrying out the surgery here was too risky.

“In Auckland they have all the facilities so Senikaili will be travelling back with the team on Sunday,” she said.

Perhaps the people with the brightest smiles on their faces in the wards yesterday were the mothers of the children.

Serelisoni Solei, of Vatuwaqa in Suva, was feeding her daughter, 20-month-old Lolomakasoi, who had one of the cutest smiles in the ward.

“She was about two-months-old when I noticed she was always sick and then after checks learnt she had some heart problem.

“I am so grateful to all these doctors and nurses from overseas and our local medical people. I am so lucky because my daughter is recovering and I thank our God for giving us such wonderful people.

“Also the Fiji Heart Foundation and their representative at the hospital Farzana Magnus have been there providing us with necessities, especially for our children.

“My daughter is so lucky to have had these good people help her recover,” Ms Solei said.

Pritika Kumar, of Labasa, was with her seven-month-old daughter Kavya Ram when Dr Wright arrived to conduct his medical check-up.

“I am happy with the operation on Kavya,” Ms Kumar said.

“My husband is a labourer at Pinto Industries and took time off because we wanted our daughter to have a normal life.

“We are so thankful for the doctors and nurses from overseas who have done an unforgettable job for all the children here and also Fiji Heart Foundation.”

Julie Tui, from Culanuku in Serua, was with her two-month-and-three-weeks-old son Veremo. Her smile spoke of appreciation for the team’s effort.

“After he was born, we noticed he had breathing problems.

“Now his breathing is normal and the crying he used to do a lot of before has stopped now.

”I just want to thank the doctors and nurses for their help especially giving up their valuable time to be here in Fiji and provide a better life for the many children who have heart problems.

“Also the Fiji Heart Foundation for all the support for our children.”

Dr Leweniqila said the children included two from Taveuni.

Ms Magnus said the foundation was there looking after the needs of the children.

“We have been providing stuff like diapers and other sanitary products, organised clothes sent to them from overseas, toys for the little ones.

“Generally, we are here just making them get well without having to worry about anything.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa



Related Articles