Tony’s Triumph Through Open-Heart Surgery

Meet Anthony. “Tony” is a devoted husband, father of two young children, and teacher at a local university in Nigeria. He was diagnosed with a serious heart condition in 2021, and has been struggling to keep his family afloat financially for the last two years.

Before his diagnosis, Tony was healthy. He worked hard professionally, and was loving and present at home with his family. Even when money was tight, he knew he could always find a way to provide for his family, even if it meant picking up an odd job here and there to make ends meet.

But when Tony experienced some unusual chest pain when exercising one day, he knew something was wrong. His wife, who was a nurse, urged him to go to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome.

At first, his doctor prescribed him simple blood pressure medication, but that was ineffective. He continued to experience chest pain, which soon started to radiate through his chest and into his arm so severely that he did not have the strength to pick up his children. So back to the hospital he went.

Tony’s options were grim. He could get a pacemaker installed, a procedure that he could afford, but it would only manage his symptoms for a short while – not fix the problem. Or he could have open-heart surgery. But for that, he would need to pay the hospital 6 million Naira (the equivalent of over $7,600 in the U.S.) – an astronomical sum that he could never afford.

To further complicate matters, Tony had been unable to work and had not received a salary for several months, limiting his ability to provide for his family, much less pay for major surgery. The financial burdens were stacking up, and Tony was worried.

He decided to reach out to his bank for a loan but was denied. Just when he was about to give up all hope, a friend told him about the VOOM Foundation, one of MAP’s partners for cardiac surgical supplies. His cardiologist referred him to the program, and Tony was accepted as a surgical candidate.

The volunteer cardiac surgeons with VOOM performed Tony’s heart surgery using donated supplies from MAP, and within 18 hours of the operation, Tony was up and walking. He made a full recovery and is now back to living his life as a professional and a family man – full of gratitude for the days that he has been given, and full of hope for the future.

Because of this lifesaving surgery, Tony has the opportunity to watch his children grow up, to be there for his wife, and to live his life to the fullest.

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