By Dr. Anu Shivaraju, April 2019
Let me share a story that will hopefully give you a glimpse into the dire circumstances which refugees face in #Lebanon. Fatima, a 41-year-old Syrian refugee, who has been married for 22 years and has been trying to conceive for the last 20 years. She finally gave birth to her child a year ago. After being unemployed for many years, her husband finally got permission to work in Lebanon and got a job three days ago where he works all day.
Fatima has been suffering from chest pains for the last several months. She was admitted to a hospital three months ago with chest pain and was told she had a “heart attack” (damage to her heart muscle) thought to be due to a blocked artery that supplies blood to her heart muscle. They recommended that she get a cardiac catheterization procedure to look at the arteries that supply blood to her heart. She could not afford this procedure and consequently, she did not get it.
She was excited when she heard about #MedGlobal‘s #Cardiology mission to Lebanon. We performed a coronary angiogram this evening and she had very tight blockages in her two main arteries that supply blood to her heart muscle. We all wished that we could have put a stent to open up the blockage, but her disease was so extensive that her best option is an open heart surgery (CABG).
The next dilemma she faces is dealing with being able to afford her open heart surgery, which will cost her $10,000. UNHCR will often help subsidize 75% of the cost and the refugees will need to pay the other 25%, which in this case would be $2,500. The refugees cannot even afford to buy needed medications that are worth just a few dollars, let alone pay for expensive surgery. So, they often opt to take their chances with fate. Fatima is on borrowed time.
MedGlobal is blessed to have generous donors who allow us to provide care for people like Fatima and because of your generosity, we will be able to pay for the rest of her surgical cost. I hope that she gets to spend many years with her son and watch him grow up. I will keep you posted on her #surgery and progress.