Riley heart team leads 30th medical mission trip to Jordan



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Surgeons, cardiologists and nurses are combining their talents to help heal children desperate for care.

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist,

Riley Hospital for Children physicians and nurses are at it again – making miracles happen for children across the world.

A team led by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Turrentine joined other clinicians on Riley International Heart Missions’ 30th trip to Amman, Jordan this week.

This year’s trip marks a huge milestone made possible by supporters including Gift of Life International and Gift of Life Amman, Rotary Club of Greenfield, Chain of Hope-London and the many team members from Riley, IU and now American University of Beirut, according to Dr. Tim Cordes, pediatric cardiologist, who accompanied Dr. Turrentine on the trip.

Also joining from Riley are: Brittany Mote, pediatric operating room nurse; Emily Saunders, pediatric operating room nurse; Dr. Kamal Abulebda, critical care physician; Sheila Rocchio, pediatric cardiovascular nurse; Heather Dornbusch, pediatric cardiovascular nurse; Mike Horner, pediatric perfusionist; and Dr. Kevin Graham, cardiothoracic surgery resident.

The team will perform multiple heart surgeries over several days, including helping a 2-year-old boy named Abdalrahman, who was diagnosed with tetralogy of fallot, a combination of four congenital abnormalities; and Mahmoud, a 10-month-old boy with a history of diaphragmatic hernia and multiple heart defects that led to failure to thrive.

“Our team has been outstanding in the face of the hard work needed for each of these patients,” Dr. Cordes said. “(They) have brought all their skill and experience to bear to help these beautiful children get better.”

Follow the group’s progress here.