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Sofitel's Heart Felt Support For Fijians In Need

Sofitel's Heart Felt Support For Fijians In Need

Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation celebrate success at Sofitel Fiji

Complementing its continued support for Fiji children's charity, Cure Kids Fiji, the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa recently extended its support to another foundation also committed to developing the local community's access to health services and professionals, the 'Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation'.

Sofitel Fiji joined forces with 'Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation' to host 44 cardiac doctors from New Zealand last month who volunteered their time and talents for a two week visit during which they performed 18 open heart surgeries on Fiji citizens, free of charge.

Director of Sales and Marketing for the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Heather Gordon, said the "Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation" was formed last year by a group of 11 former Fiji residents now living in New Zealand with a view to fundraise and bring international doctors to Fiji to operate on those who would otherwise not be able to afford treatment.

"The cost to travel to New Zealand is at least $45,000 per person, which is why it makes much more sense to bring doctors to Fijian hospitals instead," she said. "What can be achieved and the number of lives that can be saved in just two weeks is truly amazing and the doctors who volunteer their time an inspiration to us all.

"The Foundation's trustees believe that an annual project to provide free heart operations will contribute to extending the life expectancy of needy patients, and Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa is proud to be associated with this great cause in order to better the health and quality of life for people in our local surrounding community and beyond."

Sofitel Fiji welcomed 44 volunteer doctors through its doors, with an additional three tons of medical equipment – some valued at more than $750,000 per piece - air-freighted direct to Latouka hospital.

Since its first visit to Fiji in November 2006, the Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation has made medical history, conducting procedures that have never actually been performed in Fiji's Latouka hospital before.

Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation appointed Dr Parma Nand as the chairman of its board of Trustees. And will fundraise further in 2008 to send a team of volunteer specialist doctors and nurses to Fiji for a third visit, this time to the C.W.M hospital in Suva. Visit www.fofhf.org.nz and www.sofitelfiji.com.fj

ENDS

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