Saving Young Hearts.
Building Bright Futures.

In Rwanda Untreated Strep Throat is Taking Lives

When strep throat is left untreated, it can develop into rheumatic heart disease (RHD). In sub-Saharan Africa, where strep throat largely goes untreated, it has led to an estimated 275,000 premature deaths occurring each year. It’s estimated that there are more than 40,000 teens and young adults with undiagnosed RHD in Rwanda. This situation will continue to progress until the young teens enter the health care system. Even then, it could take years to navigate the system and receive care. These young adults are dying from RHD and the only treatment for advanced cases is surgery.

Consider This

What if the strep throat was treated? A bit of simple education and the right medication could prevent so many deaths. What if all Rwandan families could get these drugs and never experience RHD?

Now Imagine

80 youths standing in front of you, weak and struggling to breathe. You can only provide a few surgeries that will save their lives? The rest are left with a limited future in front of them.

Team Heart’s dedicated and expert caregivers have saved many (though hardly all) who are gravely ill and need surgical intervention. Without sufficient medical staffing, without preventative education and medication, without the appropriate health care facilities, the struggle is ongoing.

Our Purpose

After traveling to Rwanda as a volunteer, Ceeya Patton Bolman returned to Boston, recruited her husband Chip (a heart surgeon), and joined a group of ICU nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to form Team Heart. They registered the organization as a 501c3 in 2009. What began as a single volunteer trip, became a life long journey.

This trip grew into a commitment to developing a sustainable program to increase prevention, education, and early intervention. The team would also build a foundation for offering life-saving care to Rwanda’s RHD patients. The co-founders have continued to seek ways to provide more care with help from a team of dedicated volunteers—those who are involved in raising donations at home, offering on-the-ground support in Africa, and are committed to keep the program robust and growing.

MEET THE TEAM

“Rwanda can eradicate rheumatic heart disease in a generation-it is an achievable goal”

David Wilson

A Team With Heart

Team Heart’s dedicated and expert caregivers have saved many (though hardly all) who are gravely ill and need surgical intervention. Without sufficient medical staffing, without preventative education and medication, without the appropriate health care facilities, the struggle is ongoing.

OUR MISSION

A Success Story

Charlotte: Activist, Teacher, Mother, and Cardiac Surgery Patient

Charlotte, a mother of four, proudly proclaims, “My children now have hope.”

Learn more about Charlotte and how a successful cardiac surgery saved her life—with many thanks to Team Heart. Read her stories and others to see the impact we can have.

READ MORE ON CHARLOTTE

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Charlotte: Activist, Teacher, Mother, and Patient

Charlotte is a teacher and mother of four. Her symptoms of rheumatic heart disease occurred…