Posted on 17 June, 2013

This post is by Michael Were, Manager of OHI.

When you travel overseas to a developing country for cardiac surgery, you want to hope that you packed the supplies you need. And even though we’ve been doing this for 25 years there is always the odd challenge here and there that makes us scratch our heads about what can be done.

On Friday afternoon we ran super low on two sizes of heart valves, and it’s not really something you can “make do” with another size when you are replacing someone’s valves. Here’s the problem – the last team member leaves Sydney in 3 hours time.

How do we solve the problem? Make a call to one of our friendly reps, Shannon Doyle from St Jude Medical. With no notice she ran around to gets us eight more of these precious little packages.

Heart valves from St Jude Medical so desperately needed

She dropped everything, went to their warehouse and picked up the valves, and drove to the airport to meet one of the team that departs Sydney in 3 hours time. And it was her day off!

This was the last window of opportunity to get supplies to Tonga, as there were no more team members flying in from Australia. Without Shannon’s mercy dash, we would not have had the complete supply of valves for use today. And you know what? One of the ones that came in got used today.

So Shannon, everyone over here would to say Malo! Malo is Tongan for Thank- You.

Tags:  Tonga,