South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday September 29, 2020

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December 2006 - Volume 3 - Issue 6


Chaine de l’Espoir

As a Cardiothoracic Surgeon with a calling in his heart to help others, Dr. Imad Tabry was unable to go on his mission of mercy to the Gaza Strip this year due to the war in the region. He has been doing this since 2000, providing expert heart care to the residents of this war-torn country.

However, he was still able to answer the call with a group of French colleagues who contacted him to participate in Chaine de l’Espoir, The Chain of Hope, in Cambodia.

Dr. Tabry, who is on staff at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale met the team of doctors and nurses from France to embark on the Cambodian Mission for two weeks from October 14 through October 29.

The team worked together with the staff at Centre de Cardiologie de Phnom Penh. There they performed 25 heart surgeries on a much younger population than here in the United States. The surgeries were performed mostly for rheumatic valve problems and congenital disease with a few bypass surgeries. In comparison to Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the Cambodian facility was remarkably well-run with the assistance of the French Government, but the patients were much poorer and more devastated due to the ravages of the Khmer Rouge Massacre in the ‘70s.

Dr Tabry, with members of the local French-trained team in Cambodia. From left to right, Dr Socheat (chief of cardiac surgery), Dr. Aklinn and Dr. Kirivatt both of whom finished training but do not have the credentials to work independently.

In addition to performing the most difficult surgeries, the team had the opportunity to train the Cambodian physicians and nurses in new procedures. This mission was made possible through the dedication and generosity of the team as well as the vendors who donated heart valves, medication and supplies.

While in Cambodia, Dr. Tabry visited the Killing Fields, the site of the Khmer Rouge Massacre. He said that there was not one person with whom he came in contact that was not affected by this tragedy – all had lost loved ones and friends. The trials of the Khmer Rouge continue today for those criminals that are still alive.

In spite of the dangers of these journeys, Dr. Tabry looks forward to helping and serving as the need is so great and the resources so limited, and to him, the reward is beyond your wildest imagination.

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