Gift of Life New England, Rotary District 7780, and Maine Medical Center held a recognition reception on June 22 at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital to thank the care givers and other Portland area locals for their work with our two most recent heart patients – Jean Carlos Vasquez and Angel Abrego Quiroz of Panama.  Gift of Life New England was founded by Rotary District 7910 in Massachusetts in 2000.  Since then GOLNE has helped 71 children, including six who have come to Maine starting in 2012.
During the event, we remembered the late Paul Emery, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary member, whose passion for helping children first brought GOLNE children to Maine. His wife, Pat Emery, was in attendance and was recognized.
Dr John Lombard, Dr Reed Quinn, Ted Shaughnessy
Dr John Lombard, Chief of Pediatrics welcomed Ted Shaughnessy, Treasurer of GOLNE, Dr Reed Quinn, Pediatric Heart Surgeon, and other assembled staff and guests.  Ted presented a check for $10,000 to MMCs Foundation in recognition of the surgeries and care provided to Jean Carlos and Angel in Jan/Feb of this year.  Ted offered a few words about the Gift of Life International organization which was founded in 1975 by Rotarians.  Since then, GOLI has helped nearly 30,000 children in 79 countries and now treats nearly 2000 children per year, involving 205 Rotary Clubs in 46 Rotary Districts.
L: Ted Shaughnessy, R: Elvira Perez
As part of the celebration, we were treated to a slide show of the six children who have been helped in Maine – Daisy, Genesis, Jose David, Elian, Angel, and Jean Carlos. Also included were testimonials from some of the mothers and children.  Westbrook resident Elvira Perez, read the testimonials in Spanish. Translations are being made available.
L: Dr Reed Quinn.  R: Lori Hafner RN,
Pat Emery, Elvira Perez
Dr Quinn, who speaks fluent Spanish, was clearly moved by the testimonials and the pictures showing the children living happy and healthy lives. He credited MMC for their support of his work.  He also thanked his staff and the many other medical professionals in this area for their support.  Lori Hafner RN, was specifically recognized in the testimonials and was in attendance to accept our appreciation.
Dr Quinn’s final comment about his work was “One life. One child at a time.”
L-R: Elvira Perez, Pete Provencher, Pat Emery,
Christine Johnson, John Curran,
Ted Shaughnessy, Dr Quinn