The World Medical Relief (WMR) will launch its groundbreaking “My Heart, Your Heart” program during its 64th anniversary celebration on Nov. 4, 2017 at the Saint John’s Armenian Church Banquet and Conference Center in Southfield.
Filipino American George V. Samson, WMR president-CEO, said through the program, WMR will distribute free, reconditioned pacemakers to needy patients in developing countries all over the world.
Samson also announced that WMR will be donating 20 containerized vans of medical supplies and equipment to the Philippine government to be used in the repair of destroyed hospitals in war-devastated Marawi City in Mindanao.
The pacemaker program is a collaborative undertaking of WMR and the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center headed by its director, Dr. Kim Eagle.
Doctor Eagle will be the keynote speaker at WMR’s 64th anniversary event. He heads a new WMR division whose volunteer workers are tasked with reconditioning of the used pacemakers which are usually thrown away.
With the program, “this currently wasted resource” is recycled into life-saving device for poor and sick people in the world who cannot afford to pay for the high cost of a new pacemaker. In the Philippines, it was learned, a new pacemaker costs at least 90,000 pesos ($1,650).
WMR President Samson had earlier disclosed to the Filipino Star News the findings of a 12-patient pilot study conducted by the University of Michigan (UM) in the Philippines.
The study was conducted on needy patients at the University of Philippines-Philippine General Hospital who received pacemakers through a program initiated by UM with support from WMR and funeral directors in Michigan.
The results of the study showed that indeed the patients with their reconditioned pacemakers were able to live normal life.
Samson announced that top volunteers at WMR will be honored with awards during the program that will highlight the anniversary celebration. WMR has been tapping the services of volunteers who sort out donated medical supplies and equipment and medicines in preparation for shipment abroad.