Leonito Carlos and the East Timor Hearts Fund
One of the causes that we support at Macquarie Telecom is the work of the East Timor Hearts Fund.
The ETHF is a medical aid fund providing life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young East Timorese. They are changing lives and saving lives by giving young people with life-threatening heart conditions the opportunity to come to Australia for surgery. Macquarie Telecom supports the work of the ETHF financially to help make the operations possible and through logistical help where we can.
This week Dili high school student Leonito Carlos landed in Melbourne in preparation for his potentially life-saving heart surgery as a result of the ETHF’s programme. He was met at the airport by Ronan Thomas from our Melbourne office. Leonito went on to have successful double valve replacement surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital on 19 June.
Leonito is the second heart patient we have been able to support through our contributions to the ETHF. Just before Christmas young mum Immaculada da Conceicao Gusmao returned to her family in East Timor with a newly healthy heart, thanks to the excellent work by the surgical team at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
As part of a wider trip to the region, our CEO David Tudehope met Immaculada in Dili before her surgery and also visited her in hospital in Australia. She is now doing well back in East Timor and enjoying being healthy enough to run around after her two young children.
Leonito, 18, is also looking forward to a cure for his debilitating heart disease. “Because I have heart disease, it makes me feel stressed and I don’t feel happy in my life,” Leonito said. “Every day I feel breathless. I have chest pain when I take a breath, shortness of breath and sometimes I feel like my heart is going to explode.”
Leonito said he looked forward to being able to continue to study and hang out with his friends once he was well again.
Asked his thoughts about the Australian supporters and medicos who have made his impending surgery possible, Leonito said: “I’d like to say thank you very much to them for their help.”