A group of highly experienced doctors, health workers, and First Nations leaders from across the nation gathered under the ‘Knowledge Tree’ in Cairns to begin the ‘Deadly Heart Trek’ in Queensland, aimed at helping tackle the rising rates of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A beautiful Welcome to Country ceremony from Minjil kicked off the proceedings, followed by stories from incredibly brave families including Lynette Bullio who shared her experience with son Jalil being diagnosed at just seven years of age. Speakers also included Cardiologists Dr. Ben Reeves, Dr. Bo Remenyi and Dr. Rob Justo, First Nations cultural advisor Vicki Wade (as MC), and community lead, Geoffrey ‘Jacko’ Angeles.
Two experienced multi-disciplinary teams have been invited up to Thursday Island and other Torres Strait Island communities on a listening and action tour, including education and heart screenings for children to diagnose and treat this silent disease.
The passionate team includes health workers, doctors, nurses, and First Nations community engagement officers.
Thrilled to be working behind the scenes on this incredible project with the Deadly Heart steering committee Vicki Wade, Karen Iles, Boglarka Remenyi, and Dr. Rob Justo, as well as the Cairns health team, RHD Control Programs, RHDAustralia, and communities.
And a shout out to Take Heart Project and Moonshine Agency for your huge efforts. Thank you for getting behind it One Disease, Heart Foundation Australia, HeartKids, Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, Orange Sky Australia, Humpty Dumpty Foundation. #endrhd