Continuing to help the East Timor Hearts Fund mend young hearts
For young people living in Timor-Leste with serious heart conditions, the only thing standing between them and the life-saving surgery they need is the Timor Sea. For the last seven years, Toll has been helping them to bridge that gap – working with the East Timor Hearts Fund to provide flights from Dili to hospitals across Australia.
The East Timor Hearts Fund – Australia’s only medical aid charity dedicated to providing access to life-saving heart surgery for young people from Timor-Leste – was formed in 2010 to assist patients who require relatively simple procedures to correct conditions that are the legacy of childhood rheumatic fever, a disease largely eradicated in the west.
Due to a lack of specialist medical facilities, these conditions cannot be treated in Timor-Leste – but with the help of the East Timor Hearts Fund, young people with life-threatening heart conditions are given the chance to come to Australia each year to receive heart surgery.
Toll has been the principal sponsor of the East Timor Hearts Fund since the charity’s inception, and in that time has provided flights to and from Australia for almost 40 patients and their parents, health support workers and interpreters.
2016 marks one of its most successful years the charity has had to date. Since January, a record ten patients have come to Australia for treatment, additional cardiologists have been recruited to conduct more screenings in Timor-Leste, and a preventative penicillin program was established for young people across the country.
Announcing the renewal of Toll’s partnership with the East Timor Hearts Fund in September this year, Toll Remote Logistics’ General Manager Mark Delany acknowledged the ongoing relationship between as one built on shared values.
“I’m proud to announce our continued support for this important organisation, and the significant contribution we’ve been able to make together to the wellbeing of our neighbours in Timor-Leste,” said Mark.
“Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is an important part of how Toll does business – whether in Australia or one of the many countries around the world in which we operate.”
During the time Toll had a presence in Timor-Leste supporting the Australian Defence Force, patients would be flown to Australia using spare seats on chartered planes. Since the demobilisation of Australian troops in the region, the support has continued using commercial flights.
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