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Learn how this local Nonprofit helped Save a Heart

Sheryll recovering post-surgery
Sheryll recovering post-surgery

**The Global Heart Network is based in Burlingame and is a Contributive Platform to Increase Access to Cardiac care in Low-Middle Income Countries**

If you’ve spent time or grown up in a community with access to healthcare and medical treatments, the ability to be seen and treated by a physician can be easily taken for granted. For those outside the developed world, getting life saving medical attention or even transportation to a doctor can be challenging if not impossible.

This is the story of Sherll Verde, born in the Philippines with a congenital heart ailment. Diagnosed at only six months old with Tetralogy of Fallot, her heart defect caused her to have “tet spells” where she would turn blue as she lost the oxygen saturation levels in her blood. Sheryll’s heart problems could have been solved through an open heart surgery, however her parents were not able to cover the medical expenses.

Sheryll  was able to attend school like  most children in her community but, as she got older, had to stop attending due to poor health. Throughout her elementary and high school years, she was in and out of school and, although she excelled in her studies while she was in class, she wasn’t able to graduate high school. Fortunately, she was able to take a course to prepare to college and was the only one in her class to pass the examination. She was delighted to be able to continue pursuing her education.

While in college, Sheryll began researching nonprofit organizations that could offer help to those who can’t afford heart surgery. After some time, consumed by her studies, she wasn’t able to continue her search as diligently as she would have hoped. As time progressed, so did her illness as the left side of her body grew numb. Diagnosed by her doctor as having suffered a mild stroke, her search resumed, but her illness was interfering with life more than she could handle. “When I stopped my studies, I was so sad and devastated for the thought that I couldn’t reach my dreams anymore, to finish my studies and have a stable job someday,” Sheryll reflected on her situation.

One day, in the midst of her struggle with loneliness and despair, it seemed her hopes and prayers might finally be answered. Sheryll received an email from Annabel Lavielle, founder of Global Heart Network. Annabel expressed her sincere concern for Sheryll and aspirations to help her find the treatment she needs. Soon after, Sheryll received the life-changing news that Annabel had found a doctor that could operate on Sheryll.  

It was July 5, 2013 when, after 22 years of suffering from this heart defect, Sheryll boarded a plane to Switzerland. It was her first time to fly on a plane and after four days in Switzerland, Sheryll got the surgery she had hoped for all her life.

“It was wonderfully amazing knowing that there are a lot of people taking good care of me. The nurses are so kind, friendly and very attentive as well as the doctors. I appreciate every single moment meeting new people and making friends since I went alone in Switzerland.”

After almost two weeks of recovery, Sheryll’s tears of joy fell to the floor as she was overwhelmed with gratitude to the doctors, Annabel, and the Global Heart Network and to be one of the sponsored patients of the Global Heart Network.

A few words of thanks from Sheryll:

I was so thankful for the doctors. Thankful to a great doctor, Professor Kalangos who made this all things possible to me to be cured. Thankful to Ma’am Lavielle who’s also made these things to happen. To ma’am Spichiger who never failed to visit me every afternoon in the hospital. To Sir Ung, to all my friend whom I’ve met and to all the nurses that took good care of me during my recovery. Thank you! Now I’m here in the Philippines, having great time together with family and friends. Enjoying every moment because life is wonderful. It’s a gift to be alive, to see the sun and breathe the air. Somehow, I look back the days when I’ve stopped my study. I was seeking for the answer of my question that time and this might be the answer to my question. That God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will. We just don’t have to worry about tomorrow because we all know that God is already there!

Sheryll’s is one of many lives that have been touched by the work done at Global Heart Network. Global Heart Network is a Contributive Platform to Increase Access to Cardiac care in Low-Middle Income Countries. There is to enhance collaboration between all stakeholders through our contributive platform, to increase access to cardiac care in Low and Middle-income Countries.

This #GivingTuesday, give the gift of health to those who don’t have access to proper medical treatment. Visit Global Heart Network’s #GivingTuesday fundraising page to learn more how you can support this important cause.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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