Success in Sri Lanka for Take Heart team.
Take Heart Mercy Mission is the official charity partner of Gillingham Football Club and travel to the Karapitiya Hospital in Sri Lanka once a year to perform a number of lifesaving heart operations on critically sick children who would struggle to survive without our help.
The team of doctors, nurses and surgeons from the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London take time from their annual holiday allowance to perform the missions and have today completed their 250th operation, marking a memorable milestone for everybody associated with the charity.
Wedikkarage Dahami (pictured) is eight years old and her operation, which took place on Wednesday, was a complete success and she is currently recovering at the hospital.
Chairman, and trustee, Paul Scally said: “This is a very proud moment for everybody associated with Take Heart Mercy Mission and Gillingham Football Club.
“Every life we save is credited to the people who have enabled the charity to keep going year after year, including our very loyal fans who have so generously donated via our dedicated fundraising events time after time.
“I’d also like to thank our sponsors, stakeholders and excellent team who devote so much of their time to ensure others can look forward to a healthier future.”
The charity was started in 2001 by a Sri Lankan expat living in London by the name of Jai Lameer, but following his sad death in 2011, the Chairman helped form Take Heart Mercy Mission alongside fellow trustees Conal Austin (Paediatric Heart Surgeon) and John Simpson (Cardiologist Professor) and regular trips to the Karapitiya Hospital have taken place since then, with the charity attracting more publicity and television coverage year after year.
This year three members of the club's coaching staff have made the journey and are running soccer schools on a daily basis, making themselves very popular with local football fanatics.
Gillingham Football Club and Take Heart Mercy Mission would like to thank SriLankan Airlines and the Calamander Hotel for their help with the annual missions.