Monday, November 30, 2015

SUMMARY - November Mission

Again, close to 1000 grade school children in the Mariscal Caceras Province, located in the San Martin Region of Peru, have been tested for Congenital Heart Defects.  This is part of our ongoing program to help make 'late discovery' of the disease, past history in the area.  After receiving Echo Cardiography Diagnosis, several children were found in need of followup at the Cardiology Department at Los Ninos Hospital, Lima.
We were so lucky to have had two great doctors with us during the mission.  Dr Adam Ware, a Pedi Cardiologist from the University of Utah Children's Hospital, and Dr Isaac Alva, a Public Health Specialist, from Lima.  Dr Isaac spent some of his 'growing up' years and attended school in Juanjui.
Dr Michael Castillo helped us with some diagnoses and patient attention during some very busy days at the Juanjui Hospital.  Critical Care RN Charla Moye, Photo-Journalist Dana Blunk(Dr Adam's wife), Maria Tacunan and Eliana Morla, along with our local Juanjui crew worked many long 12 hour days to make this mission another success.  Villages visited included, Dos de Mayo, Campanilla, Parajillo, Santa Rosa and Huicungo.
Our next mission will likely be May/June 2016.  There seems to be a need for an Endocrinologist and of course a General Practitioner.

 Some of our best memories are our visit to schools for children with special needs

Friday, August 21, 2015

NEXT MISSION - Juanjui, Peru

NOVEMBER 1 through NOVEMBER 20, 2015
(Consider joining us for one, two, or all three weeks)
November mission will concentrate on our continuing Cardiac Project to study Congenital Heart Defects(CHD).  (See preceding posts, Stethoscopes for Peru & November 2014 Mission.
Week #1 - Nov 1 thru Nov 7
Continuation of Stethoscope and Pulse Oximeter testing of school children in the area of Juanjui and San Martin. 
Week #2 - Nov 8 thru Nov 14

  1. Children exhibiting positive results for CHD, from week #1 testing, are scheduled for followup diagnostics with Pediatric Cardiologist and Pediatric ECHO Technician and referral to Lima Children's Hospital.
  2. Field Clinics in river villages with Family Care Physician and Nurses; Education Program with EMT's & Paramedics for CPR & First Aid, Poison Control & Treatment, Animal bites.
Week #3 - Nov 15 thru Nov 20
Family Care Physicians, Plastics, Orthopedics, ARNP preceding specialties.
Diagnostics, Treatments, at The Luz Fund/Armonizar Sonrisas Children's Clinic, Lima.

If you are a Medical Doctor, Dentist, or Nurse Practitioner with another specialty and are interested in helping in Juanjui or at The Luz Fund Children's Clinic in Lima, Please contact us for more information.

Positions needed include:
Pediatric Cardiologist
ECHO Tech; (Pediatric)
Family Care NP;
Cardiology NP; (Pediatric)
RN's;  (preceding specialties)


Tel:      813-689-3289
Cel:      813-215-0071
Fax:      813-904-6914

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sandra with her Papa, Ernesto in Tingo Maria, Peru, near Juanjui.  Her story, written by a friend is located on the right column of this blog, titled, Sandrita.  She is a few years older now, but still in need.  Please read it.  We want to try to help Sandra by having Shriners approve her as an international patient, just as Luz, Veronica, Franco and Tatiana were.  At present we are waiting on approval from Shriners.  I hope to visit Sandra and Ernesto in June when I am in Juanjui.  Hopefully I will have some good news for them, and possibly we will see Sandrita in Florida next year.

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Stethoscopes for Peru"

The Stethoscope Project is only a small part of our overall project to help people in the San Martin Region, Mariscal Caceres Province of Peru become aware of the need to check newborns, children, and adults, for signs of congenital heart defects, and to provide for them the means to do it, using their own resources.  I have a dear friend in Juanjui, Peru, her name is Dr Ingrid.  For 98% of the women and many of the children in the town of Juanjui and the river villages, she is their doctor.

Ingrid asked me last year to help her find a Cardiologist that could come to Juanjui.  She suspects there are a lot of undiagnosed cardiac issues among the population there. Women give birth, usually at home, and the child is likely never seen by a doctor. Thus many illnesses go undetected, as well as recognition of cardiac issues, treatable at a young age if discovered.  Many adults also show signs of cardiac disease but there is no doctor nor any close clinics or healthcare facilities where they can go, even if the financial resources were available.

A Cardiologist friend, now volunteering fulltime in China, Dr Robert Detrano, from UCLA Med School, wrote an article regarding the easiest way to make this happen in developing countries.  The article is available on request.  Thus starts the Juanjui Cardiac Project. The Stethoscopes for Peru is the first step in the project.

There is a small Nursing School in Juanjui and The Luz Fund enjoys a close working relationship with the administrator, Dr Vasquez.  But Stethoscope training is likely not understood well enough to allow the students to recognize cardiac issues when they hear them.  Our plan is to give the nursing students thorough instruction on Stethoscope heart sounds.  Then to use those students in a screening program, described by Dr Detrano, in the schools in the province of San Martin(Juanjui and the river villages).  Those students registering positive indicators will be further reviewed locally by a Luz Fund volunteer ECHO Tech and Cardiologist. Those still positive have already been pre-approved for referral to the Los Ninos Children’s Hospital, Lima, for followup, or to the heart team of Heart Care International(HCI).  HCI is a heart team from New York that visits Los Ninos Hospital twice each year to perform free heart surgeries on children who would otherwise never receive treatment, through no fault of their own.

I have been extremely fortunate, since we started this planning, to have a Portable Diagnostic Ultrasound Machine, a Seimens Acuson Cypress, donated to our organization, The Luz Fund, by Mina Tohid, a Sonographer from Los Angeles.  I feel that once started, this project can be carried on by local healthcare workers in a self sustaining manner.  A local person will receive professional training  to obtain good results with the portable ECHO. The results will help innumerable people, who at present, have no awareness of the potential problems they may have.
Tentative dates for implementing the program in Juanjui are September/October/November 2014.

I would be extremely grateful for any assistance you may be able to provide or to suggest.
If you would like to be included on a future trip to Peru with us, just ask.

Chuck Mulhern,  The Luz Fund
Tel:  813-689-3289 (Home)                                     
Cel:  813-215-0071                           

Monday, March 3, 2014

Medical Mission to Peru - Sept/Oct 2014

Date:  TBA,  2014.  
If interested, let us know   We are especially looking for an ECHO Tech,  Cardiologist, GP, and Family Care.  Physicians and Nurse Practitioners, as well as RNs, and Paramedics. 
If you are particularly adept at heart sounds with a Stethoscope, we need you.  We will be starting an intensive educational program at the local nursing school.  Then we will be using those students to screen local school children for cardiac issues.
Call or Email
Tel:  813 215-0071

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yovanna Campos Cabrera

Yovanna is a 4 yr old little girl from Cajamarca, Peru.(see her photo in the previous post, below) She needs heart surgery to repair a defective aortic valve. Eliana has brought Yovanna and her Mama to Lima, to the Childrens Hospital. The Luz Fund is helping with the expenses. An old friend of Chuck, Betsy Tirado and her medical group from New York City, Heart Care International will be in Lima next week doing heart surgeries on children who qualify for the care. A decision will be made this weekend on whether or not Yovanna will be a candidate for surgery. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. 

If you are in Lima, and have O rh+ blood we could use a couple donors. If you want to help with expenses, consider a check to:

The Luz Fund
512 White Oak Ave
Brandon, FL 33510
FEI# 32-0256081

Please write: For Yovanna Campos Cabrera, in the memo section.
More information can be found at:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Again, Christmas Comes Early

Three Christmas presents for 2013.
Last year (2012), after waiting for almost a month, on December 15 we were notified that Franco and Tatiana were accepted at Shriners for their surgery for bi-lateral clubfeet(BLCF).  They were here in Brandon for six months, April thru September.  After two surgeries each and five months with casts on both legs they went home to their family in October.  Each walking straight with a new pair of shoes.  (See Photo on an earlier post)

That was our 2012 Christmas present.
This year we have already received three presents. In the first photo, Francis, 1 1/2 years old, already has his second set of leg casts for correction of his BLCF at Los Ninos Hosp, Lima, Peru. 
Maybe five more cast changes. I think Francis is not too sure he agreed to this.

In the second photo, Jair, 10 years old from Juanjui, will be scheduled for surgery in January for his BLCF, at Los Ninos in Lima.  Dr Jose Morcuende, University of Iowa Childrens Hospital, was at Los Ninos Hospital in Lime last week to present an educational forum on the Ponseti Method of correcting club feet without surgery.  That will help Francis.  Jair, because of his age and other medical issues, will have surgery at Los Ninos in January for correction of his BLCF.

Third photo, a surprise gift. Yovanna, 4 years of age, needs Heart Surgery. May be scheduled for after the holidays.

Merry Christmas.

Many thanks for your continued support and prayers.