A round of applause for solidarity and work translated into 43 heart transplants

The President of the Government and those responsible for the Ministry of Health yesterday, together with patients and professionals involved in the program. / COVER

The Canarian Government recognizes the team of the Regional Heart Transplant Program launched two and a half years ago

From the
December 4, 201943 people from the archipelago have resumed their lives with a new Canarian heart thanks to the
Regional Heart Transplant Programwhich coordinates the hospital
Doctor Negrin of Gran Canaria, and to those who decided to donate their organs.

The Government of the Canary Islands wanted to show its gratitude to some and others this Monday in an act that served to
recognize this medical and collective achievement that has prevented these people from having to wait on the peninsula for months to receive a new heart, forcing them to be far from their homes and their families.

“Being able to do it on your own island is not expressed in words,” said Agustín Rodríguez Carmona, who underwent a heart transplant on October 4, 2020, who confessed to feeling “proud of the entire team” that has treated him over the years, demonstrating “
human quality and professionalism» and getting him to feel «strong and active» again.

In addition, Carmona took the opportunity to thank "the courage and generosity of those who donate organs so that other people can move forward."

starting life

This is what happened to Africa Guerra, operated on February 12, 2020, when he was 48 years old. «
The operation has changed my life. From having no life to having it. From that day on, I was born again », says the patient who was only on the waiting list four days before receiving her new heart.

«I was very lucky.
Thanks to the donors, especially mine. Without them, this could not be done. It is very important”, he added before entering the emotional act chaired by the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, to congratulate those who have taken part in this milestone in the history of Canarian health.

And, apparently, there are many people who have participated in this transversal project. «In a transplant program, not only the cardiac surgeon, nor the cardiologist, anesthetist or intensivist is involved, but all hospital services are involved from clinical analysis, Microbiology, Internal Medicine, caretakers... There is an enormous amount of personnel involved", says the coordinator of the
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Unit of the Doctor Negrín Hospital in Gran CanariaAntonio Garcia Quintana.

In each transplant -he specifies- no less than a hundred people are mobilized of all these areas and coordinating all these people so that they work in unison is complex and gives an idea of ​​the organizational capacity that the hospital has acquired with this program", pointed out the patron of this journey, unfeasible without the generosity of the canaries .

canary altruism

“We are very happy about the donation rate, which is what supports all this,” García said about the “
true heroes of the show», people who in very delicate moments for themselves and their families decide to give life. “That we can sustain a program in the
that 100% of the donations are made in the Canary Islands should be a source of pride», said the cardiologist.

Since the program was launched, people from all the islands have benefited. In addition, a novel program of
donation in asystole -after a death due to cardiorespiratory arrest- of which only about 20 heart transplants have been performed in Spain. “We have already had four,” says García, who proudly recounts that this technique has only been applied in five countries.

Another cause for celebration is the
high survival rate of the Canarian heart transplant program, which is 97% per year. “The usual rate is 80 or 85%. We are above the national average, “says the specialist.

“By having rejection and infection controlled, you can guarantee a certain degree of success in the follow-up of these patients,” he points out about the risk involved in the intervention, especially in the first year after the transplant.

The next transplants

At the moment
there are five patients waiting for a heart. "In year 2
020, the average of the wait it was 44 days and in 2021 it was 54 days. They are exceptional waiting times. Most patients used to wait a year or more for an organ », he says with satisfaction.

A success that yesterday received the recognition of the president of the Canarian Government, Ángel Víctor Torres. "Life is the only struggle that is worthwhile," said the Canarian president, who expressed his gratitude to the donors and his relatives and encouraged the Canarian population to continue giving life in a priceless gesture.

there were improvised stanzas and comings directly from the heart of two verseadores,
the veteran Yeray Rodríguez and the young valsequillera, María Belén Sánchezaccompanied by the Ner Suárez dresser.

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