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“Gift of Heart”


From the Polish Embassy in The Hague.

“Gift of Heart” – a unique initiative of Polish cardiologists in Amsterdam

90 cardiac surgeons from all over Poland will take part in a cruise “Thank you Netherlands”. Their ship will dock in Amsterdam. Through “Cruise to Heart” they want to honor and say thank you to the Dutch society for a life-saving project in the years 1983-1990, thanks to which over 400 Polish children with congenital heart defects had the chance to undergo surgery in the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht free of charge

Another successful part of this project was training by the Dutch of over 30 Polish doctors, nurses and perfusionists (specialists dealing with cardiopulmonary bypass), who contributed to the development of Polish cardiology and cardiac surgery. Prof Maria Hoffman, prof Witold Rużyłło, prof Krystyna Kubicka and prof Wanda Kawalec were responsible for this project and its implementation in Poland.

There will be a ceremony on board the polish tall ship “Dar Młodzieży” in the harbor of Amsterdam, during which the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be honoring the Dutch doctors, who were exceptionally engaged in the project.

“Bene Merito” decorations will be given to: the head of Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht in the years 1973-1992, prof Walter Stoop, the leader of the surgery team prof Francois Hitchcock and intense therapy and anesthesia specialist, dr. Marianne Karelse-Nijsen.

The organization Terre Des Hommes Netherland will also be credited for comprehensive support and input in developing the modern children’s cardiology and cardiac surgery in Poland during the years 1982-2002.

After the official part, there will be performances on board the ship. The performing bands will be “Mitomani” – from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Anja Kozieł – performing shanties and sea songs, and “Kardioband” – a band of excellent cardiology-musicians, members of the “Cruise for Heart”.


Polish tall ship “Dar Młodzieży” will be anchored in Amsterdam at Javakade 2 and will be open for public on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of September between 10-12 am and 1-6 pm.


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