Meet the Doctors
At Chain of Hope, we are very lucky to have an enormous wealth of medical experience in the doctors and surgeons who volunteer their time, free of charge, to lead Chain of Hope missions and treat children referred to us.
Mr Olivier Ghez
Mr Olivier Ghez is a Consultant Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon and Chair of Children’s Heart Services at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. As a specialist in cardiac surgical care for neonatal patients, he became quickly involved with Chain of Hope following his move to London from Marseille in 2009. Mr Ghez is currently very active on the Chain of Hope Medical Board and operates on children for free at the Royal Brompton through the Chain of Hope Child Referral programme. As well as this, Mr Ghez has travelled to Jamaica on several missions, treating children requiring complex cardiac surgery at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston.
Professor Vibeke Hjortdal
Professor Hjortdal is Head of Paediatric Congenital Heart Surgery at Skejby University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark. Professor Hjortdal first became involved with Chain of Hope in 2009 when she was invited to participate in a surgical mission to Jamaica. Since this time, Professor Hjortdal has participated in missions to Uganda and El Salvador as well as further trips to Jamaica, resulting in the treatment of almost 100 patients and the training and development of trainee surgeons. Her visit to El Salvador was the first time that a female surgeon had operated in the country. Specialising in congenital heart disease, Professor Hjortdal concentrates on the transfer of knowledge during her overseas missions, allowing local surgeons to perform surgeries while she oversees and mentors them, thus building confidence and the capacity for teams to move forward with the help of international visits. Professor Hjortdal also sits on the Chain of Hope Strategic Planning Committee through which she helps the charity develop its medical strategy alongside other key members of the Chain of Hope medical team.
Mr Hasnat Khan
Currently a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust, Mr Hasnat Khan became involved with Chain of Hope at its formation when he was a Cardiac Surgeon at Harefield Hospital alongside Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub. Initially participating in missions to Mozambique, Mr Khan is now heavily involved in the development of a sustainable cardiac service in Ethiopia. Specialising in mitral valve surgery for patients suffering from Rheumatic Heart Disease, Mr Khan is training the local team in the management of teenagers and young adults, many of whom have been awaiting their surgeries for over 10 years.
Mr Martin Kostolny
Mr Kostolny is the lead surgeon in neonatal cardiac surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, where he has worked since 2006. At Great Ormond Street, Mr Kostolny performs approximately 250 operations a year and is the co-author in over 50 publications. Mr Kostolny sits on the Chain of Hope Medical Board and has recently joined the Jamaica programme where he began conducting missions in 2013.
Professor Francois Lacour-Gayet
Professor Lacour-Gayet has recently joined the Royal Brompton Hospital in London as a Consultant Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon, prior to which he was Chief of Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Centre in New York. Professor Lecour Gayet has been practicing medicine for over 30 years, establishing himself as a leader in the congenital cardiac surgery. He has been named a Laureate at the University of Paris and in 2001 was awarded the World Award of Young Investigators at the World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in Toronto. Professor Lecour-Gayet joined the Chain of Hope team following his move to London in 2013. Having previously been involved with our partner charities Gift of Life International and La Chaine De l’Espoir, Professor Lecour Gayet now conducts medical missions to Ethiopia to treat children suffering from complex congenital heart disease. He also sits on the Chain of Hope Medical Board and treats children through the Child Referral Programme at the Royal Brompton Hospital.
Dr Alan Magee
Dr Alan Magee is a Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Southampton University Hospital, specialising in Interventional Cardiology for patients suffering from Congenital Heart Disease. Dr Magee also sits on the Council for the British Cardiology Society and is Chair of the SAC in Paediatric Cardiology at the Royal College of Physicians. Dr Magee is integral to Chain of Hope Cardiology training programmes, where he leads the development of Interventional catheterisation Services in Jamaica. Dr Magee acts as mentor to Chain of Hope cardiology trainees during their placements in the UK, as well as conducting training missions to projects including Jamaica, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Egypt. Over the course of the 10 years that Dr Magee has been involved with Chain of Hope, he has provided life saving treatment for hundreds of children not only through cardiac missions, but also through the Child Referral programme through which he treats children for free in UK Hospitals. In addition to this, Dr Magee sits on the Chain of Hope Trustee Board and actively fundraises for Chain of Hope
Ms Nancy Poirier
Dr Nancy Poirier is a Consultant Cardiac surgeon at Ste Justine Hospital, Montreal, part of the Universite de Montreal where she also directs the Paediatric Cardiac Transplantation programme and Ventricular Assist Device programme. Dr Poirier has been conducting medical missions to the Aswan Heart centre since 2010, through which she has been integral to the training of the local surgical staff. Now that the surgical team there is able to operate almost completely independently, she is now focusing on the Ethiopia project, where she conducted her first mission in 2014.
Professor Shakeel Qureshi
Professor Qureshi is head of the paediatric cardiology service at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. Specialising in interventional cardiology and co-inventor of the widely used Tyshak balloon, Professor Qureshi has been instrumental in the training of Chain of Hope cardiologists in Ethiopia and Uganda. Professor Qureshi originally became involved with Chain of Hope through the Child Referral Programme, treating children at the Evelina Children’s Hospital. Since then, he has conducted medical missions to Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt, providing lifesaving treatment to children and training local medical professionals. Professor Qureshi was nominated the President of the Association of European Paediatric Cardiology in 2012 and sits on the editorial board of seven medical journals. In 2004, Professor Qureshi was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistan Government, one of the highest civil awards, for his services to medicine.
Mr Egil Seem
Mr Egil Seem is a Consultant Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon at Oslo University Hospital in Norway where he has worked since 1990. Mr Seem has been involved with Chain of Hope since 2012 when he joined the Chain of Hope Mission to Jamaica. Specialising in both congenital and rheumatic heart disease, Mr Seem is highly skilled in treating children suffering from a large ranges of cardiac defects, from new-born babies to adolescents. Since this first mission, Mr Seem continues to join missions to Jamaica, developing their sustainable cardiac service.
Professor Paulus Schoof
Professor Paulus Schoof is a Consultant Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the UMC Utrecht in the Netherlands, where he has worked since 2009. Prior to this, he was head of the department of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at Radboud University Hospital in Nijmegen. Specialising in both congenital and rheumatic heart disease, Professor Schoof first became involved with Chain of Hope in 2010 as part of the Aswan surgical programme where he joined a mission and donated his time to treating patients suffering from extremely complex congenital heart disease. Since then, Professor Schoof has also become part of the development programme in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, to where he travels alongside a team of highly skilled volunteers to operate on children and young adults at the Cardiac Centre of Ethiopia.
Professor Victor Tsang
Professor Victor Tsang is chief of paediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, where he has worked for 14 years. Recognised in The Times newspaper as one of the world’s top surgeons, Professor Tsang has worked with Chain of Hope since 2002 and has led the Chain of Hope Jamaica Programme since 2009. Specialising in both congenital and rheumatic heart disease, Professor Tsang has participated in almost 20 missions with Chain of Hope, treating hundreds of children and has been integral in the development of the Jamaican paediatric cardiac service. In addition to this and his work as a Chain of Hope Trustee, Professor Tsang sits on the Chain of Hope Medical Board and provides surgery for children at the Harley Street Clinic, through the Chain of Hope International Child Referral Programme.
Ms Carin Van Doorn
Ms Van Doorn is head of congenital cardiac surgery at Leeds General Infirmary and has been involved with Chain of Hope for over 10 years. She has led missions to Mozambique, Ethiopia and Aswan, treating hundreds of children and providing expert training to local teams in the field of both congenital and rheumatic cardiac surgery. Ms. Van Doorn has been heavily involved in the Aswan surgical training programme, where she travels once per month to train the local surgeons in the treatment of complex surgical cases. She also leads the paediatric programme in Ethiopia alongside Professor Yacoub. Ms Van Doorn also treats children through the Chain of Hope Child referral Programme, primarily at the Harley Street Clinic in London. Ms Van Doorn assists Chain of Hope with its strategic planning and is an essential member of the Chain of Hope Medical team. Ms Van Doorn is also a member of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (GB and Ireland), The European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (USA).
Mr Francis Wells
M.S., B.Sc (Hons), F.R.C.S (Lond) M.B., B.S (Lond), M.A. (Cantab)
Mr Wells is a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Papworth Hospital where he has worked since 1986. His specialist area of cardiac surgical interest is the management of all forms of heart disease, especially mitral valve reconstruction. Mr Wells has the largest experience of this form of heart disease in the United Kingdom having completed over 3,000 cases, with a near 100% repair rate for leaking mitral valves. In 2005, Mr Wells pioneered a new method to repair damaged hearts inspired by artist Leonardo da Vinci. Mr Wells has worked with Chain of Hope since 2010, primarily with the Ethiopia project where there is a huge population of young adults requiring mitral valve repair as a result of Rheumatic Heart Disease. Mr Wells has also treated patients through the Child Referral Programme at Papworth Hospital.
Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub
Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub is world renowned as a pioneer in the development of Cardiac Surgery worldwide. A key figure in the development of heart transplantation in the UK, Professor Yacoub went on to perform more heart transplants that anyone else in the world. Born and raised in Egypt, Professor Yacoub moved to the UK in 1962, becoming a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Harefield Hospital in 1973. Professor Yacoub has been instrumental in the development of many surgical techniques, including the Ross Procedure and the Switch Operation. Professor Yacoub was Knighted in 1992, and awarded the Order of Merit by Her Majesty the Queen as a result of his services to mankind in the medical field. As President of Chain of Hope, Professor Yacoub takes a leadership role in the charity’s strategic direction and implementation of key projects. With skill and expertise spanning all cardiac defects and age ranges, Professor Yacoub has a keen interest in several rare and forgotten defects, including Endomyocardial fibrosis (EMF) which has been shown to effect up to 18% of the population in areas of Mozambique and the surrounding countries.