In August 2006, Fr. Mark Mlay, a missionary priest from Tanzania, and Michael D’Angelo, his parishioner at St. Lucie Catholic Church had a luncheon in which Fr. Mark shared the desperate need for medical care in his country. One of his dreams was to make open-heart surgery available in Tanzania which at that time required a patient to travel to India.
From this idea came the beginnings of The Tanzanian Cardiac Hospital Foundation, Inc. We adopted a small clinic near the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro that was established by Fr. Mark’s order, the Apostolic Life Community of Priests, aka the Holy Spirit Fathers. We started by fencing the entire property to protect everyone from elephants. To expand the staff, which were all nuns, we had to double the size of the convent.
As the clinic grew, the government assigned a male doctor and a male nurse to the clinic and we built a residence for them. The operating theatre was built in a joint effort between our foundation and a Catholic group in Germany.
We had the operating room but no equipment or surgeon. IMEC, a medical equipment supplier for third world countries, delivered the equipment at a fraction of the price and we were ready.
In 2017, we started providing basic surgeries to the people N’garenairobi and surrounding areas. Dr. John Robert, is our fulltime resident surgeon. As we continue to help the people of Tanzania, our dream of doing cardiac surgery remains one of our long term goals!