A milestone in cardiology boosts ministry for AMG.

By April 20, 2006

Greece (MNN)–AMG International is breaking new ground.

AMG’s Paul Jenks says their hospital partner in Thessalonica, Greece, just debuted the first-ever human implant of the WorldHeart rotary VAD–the only heart pump of its kind in clinical trials.

He explains, “This is a mechanical device that is put into the ventricle of a patient’s heart, generally a patient that has a prognosis that is very grim–this is kind of a last effort to transplant a mechanism that will give that person new life.”

According to WorldHeart, this new VAD is designed for the Destination Therapy market, as well as the Bridge-to-Recovery and Bridge-to-Transplant markets.

Its bearingless design eliminates wear mechanisms within the VAD and is expected to provide improved blood compatibility. A domestic clinical trial is expected to begin by late 2006 or early 2007.

That begs the question, ‘Why open heart surgery in a hospital in Greece for a mission agency?’ Jenks offers this explaination. “St. Luke’s Hospital is not only able to bring a cutting-edge technology, but also, everyday, the patients are also confronted with the Gospel.”

Aside from that though, because the region is largely Orthodox, believers often have a hard time. The testimony of the hospital is a boost to them. “Christians feel encouraged,” says Jenks, “because there is an evangelical hospital operating there that gives their position credibility.”

The hospital has earned the reputation of being one of the best hospitals in Eastern Europe and in the Balkan region. That reputation has brought about an urgent need for expansion.

Now, plans are in the works for adding bed space, radiology, intensive care units, outpatient surgery and dialysis facilities. Teams are raising the 20 million dollars needed for the expansion, and the construction is underway.

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