Da Nang honors German woman for decade dedicated to helping sick children

By Le Phuong   December 6, 2016 | 07:59 pm PT
Da Nang honors German woman for decade dedicated to helping sick children
Children with congenital heart conditions are treated with equipment sponsored by Heart for Heart in Da Nang. Photo by Da Nang Hospital
Her charity Heart for Heart has donated more than $2.2 million worth of equipment to the city.

A German woman has received a medal of gratitude from Da Nang’s government and doctors after spending ten years working to help treat children with heart conditions in the central city.

Irene Lejeune, founder of the Heart for Heart non-profit organization, was in Da Nang recently to celebrate the anniversary.

Equipment donated by her organization helped set the foundations for cardiological treatment at Da Nang Hospital, which has treated tens of thousands of patients and performed nearly 3,500 heart surgeries.


Irene Lejeune (2nd R), founder of Heart for Heart, during a visit to Da Nang. Photo courtesy of Da Nang Hospital

Lejeune and her husband founded Heart for Heart in 2003 to support children with heart conditions around the world.

In 2006, she met Le Trong Phi, a Vietnamese doctor at a heart treatment center in Germany, who became her connection in Vietnam.

Since November 2006, Heart for Heart has donated more than VND50 billion ($2.2 million) worth of equipment used for cardiac catheterization, an invasive imaging procedure that allows doctors to evaluate a patient's heart.

“I am impressed with how doctors here are committed to helping their patients,” Lejeune said, explaining why she is determined to continue supporting Da Nang.

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