Patient Week Finale: In the Dominican Republic, Dionicio Gets a “Second Chance” at Life!

We’re excited to wrap up our first “Patient Success Week” with a story of hope!

In March, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation hired our team to film a mini-documentary about an extraordinary heart valve mission in the Dominican Republic. To see how patients, like Dionicio Garcia, got a “Second Chance” at life during this mission, please enjoy the video below.



I would like to thank the incredible medical teams from the University of Virginia, including Dr. Scott Lim and Dr. Kimberly Chadwell, Heart Care Dominicana, including Dr. Pedro Urena and Dr. Freddy Madera, and Clinica Corazon Unidos who hosted this mission.

And… To Amanda Fowler, Tom Maloney, Katrina Headle, Jade Jordan, Becky Kibbey and the entire team at the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, many, many, many thanks for the opportunity to attend the mission, film this video and share it with our community!

Keep on tickin!

P.S. For the hearing impaired members of our community, I have provided a transcript of this video below.

Dionicio Garcia: This sickness has greatly affected my quality of life and my ability to move. I desire so much to go back to my old life again. I appreciate any help from this team to help me recover.

Dr. Pedro Urena:  Just imagine for a second that a disease, a condition that can be cured, can be corrected, and the only reason you cannot access to that is because you don’t have any money is beyond comprehension and understanding. I cannot even put it into words what that means.

Dr. Freddy Madera: These patients have such a poor access to healthcare. Heart valve disease because of rheumatic fever is increasing.

Dr. Scott Lim: Over a number of years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of my colleagues, a cardiologist, Dr. Pedro Urena. Between the two of us as well as a number of other people, we’ve gone in together to create a charity humanitarian mission for patients with heart valve disease. How can we best serve these people who don’t have other options?

Amanda Fowler: For this mission here in the Dominican Republic, we are providing a grant to the University of Virginia, and they are here to give access to the Dominicans who have no access to heart care. We’ve also donated the transcathetar heart valves to be done and carried out throughout the mission.

Dr. Scott Lim:  One of the really important parts of doing this, for me and for Dr. Urena, is that while we’re helping our patients, we’re also trying to teach the next generation of physicians. Through education, you can reach so many more people, and you can reach not just the patient but the family and the community in which they live.

Dr. Pedro Urena: Our hope is that they will continue their careers with the same kind of attitude, giving the best medicine to people who cannot afford it.

Amanda Fowler: Every Heartbeat Matters is a way for us to really attack a global problem that we are passionate about. With our philanthropy, by 2020, we’re going to impact the global burden of heart valve disease by supporting the education, screening, and treatment of 1 million under-served people.

Dr. Scott Lim: We have the group that’s in the hybrid operating room who’s doing the transcathetar aortic valve therapies. We have another group of physicians, of healthcare providers, who’re going out to very rural, very impoverished neighborhood, and one by one, person by person, screening them for heart valve disease.

Amanda Fowler: Edwards is all about helping patients We always have been. Let’s go after it. We want to make a difference, and we want to make a difference right here in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Pedro Urena:  If there’s one driving force behind what we do, it’s the concept of hope.

Dr. Scott Lim:  Leaving the knowledge, leaving the experience to the local teams so eventually, we will be able to help Dominicans through Dominicans’ hands.

Dr. Freddy Madera: I think Edwards has a very unique desire to impact the lives of people in this charitable way.

Dionicio Garcia:  I am happy and very fortunate to have been chosen by this team. I was practically hopeless. I have been given a second chance at life.

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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