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Traditionally considered a “first world” health problem – heart disease is on the rise in developing countries and is expected to be the leading cause of death worldwide by 2020. According to a study by the Center for Global Health and Economic Development, death rates due to heart disease in the developing world are expected to escalate by more than 120%.
In response, AmeriCares delivered $170 million worth of lifesaving heart medicines and medical supplies to help stem this health crisis last year. In recognition of Heart Month, AmeriCares is sharing heart patient success stories from around the world.
Help AmeriCares provide relief to those around the world. »
Khun Kroung is a 47-year-old farmer, who supports a family of five. After a history of chronic chest pain and failed treatments from traditional medicine healers, one day he collapsed and was brought to the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE (SHCH) on a stretcher. He had suffered a heart attack. Once he was stabilized, doctors began treating Khun with medicines donated by AmeriCares.
By the time he was released one week later, Khun’s heart patterns had returned to normal and his chest pain had subsided. With medicine in one hand and lifestyle education materials in the other, Khun returned to his farm and his family. Khun’s treatment, medicines donated by AmeriCares and new found awareness of what he can do to help prevent further complications, will hopefully keep him healthy for many years to come.
Some patients respond to medication, while others require surgical intervention. Rolando Colindres was one of the first patients to benefit from an AmeriCares donation of arterial stents – special tubes designed to keep blood flowing through the heart. Suffering from chest pain, Rolando sought care at the local health clinic, which is affiliated with Hospital General San Juan de Diós.
At the clinic, Dr. Edgar Rodriguez diagnosed him with hypertension and angina. “If not treated for the unstable angina, he definitely would have had a heart attack,” said Dr. Rodriguez. As a result, that same year, Colindres underwent a procedure to insert two of the stents donated by AmeriCares into his clogged arteries. After suffering from fatigue and chest pain for years, he now enjoys life and is able to live and work pain-free while continuing to provide for his family.
Stalina Abbasova’s heart broke when she lost her husband to a heart attack. Her grief brought on a serious heart condition of her own – stress angina pectoris. When arteries are clogged and taxed by stressful situations, the heart doesn’t receive the oxygen it needs to function properly. This causes severe chest pains known as angina and, in many cases, fatal heart attacks.
Stalina underwent several treatments without success, and many of the medicines had bad side effects. Thankfully, after she started taking medicines donated by AmeriCares her heart pains were reduced. Stalina’s vitality returned soon thereafter, she’s now back at work and even has energy for heart-healthy dance classes.