By Laura DeLise, Executive Vice President of Heartbeat International Foundation, Inc.  (HBI)

My name is Laura DeLise and I am the Executive Vice President at Heartbeat International Foundation Inc. (HBI) I have been with the organization for over 10 years and I am deeply passionate about helping others in need.  I want to share with you today the mission of Heartbeat International Inc. and how we provide life-saving cardiac care to children and adults around the globe.

HBI provides hope and care

In many countries around the world, healthcare is not as advanced as it could, should, or needs to be. Millions of men, women, and children can never see a doctor or receive any type of care for life-threatening injuries and conditions due to a lack of resources – such as money, and access to medical treatment.

Since 1984, Heartbeat International Foundation Inc. has provided cardiovascular implantable devices and life-saving treatments to individuals in the poorest countries. Our organization works by acquiring medical devices, coordinating medical staff, and mobilizing heart centers.

HBI is different

Pacemakers don’t last forever. When a patient qualifies for our care, they become a patient for life at absolutely zero cost to the patient or his or her family. We can accommodate this only through the tireless work of our volunteers and staff, in addition to the invaluable donated devices we receive from our sponsor, BIOTRONIK. Without this system of support, we would not have been able to save the  16,000 lives (and counting) that we have saved over the last 35 years.

Unlike many other organizations, our team has their boots on the ground. Our doctors are volunteers who live and work in the countries they serve. In this way, we help establish ongoing resources to help and enrich the disadvantaged communities that need it the most. Heartbeat International Foundation Inc. patients are patients for life.

HBI saves lives across the globe

Here are a few of the stories that have stayed in my heart during my time at HBI.

One of the saved lives is Baby Keila, she received a lifesaving pacemaker as a one-month-old thanks to the HBI Pacemaker Program in Honduras.

Christine Bocus of Trinidad was only 14-years-old when she was diagnosed with a life-threatening cardiac condition that required a dual-chamber pacemaker. As her health deteroriated, she was forced to leave school. I am happy to say that HBI was able to help her. Today, Christine is a successful young woman who a holds an honors degree as well as promising career as an accountant.

Arturo’s heart problems began when he was three years old. Unable to afford surgery, his parents felt scared and helpless. That changed when they met Dr. Ricardo Meneses and Arturo was rushed to a hospital 100 miles away from his home in Mexico and received a pacemaker implant. He is now a young man pursuing an education in medicine.

Help HBI save cardiac patients

Many of you may have an implanted device or know someone who lives with heart disease. In order to continue helping individuals in need, we need your support. Make a difference across the globe. There are many ways to help:

  • Donate on the HBI website and learn more about how you can get involved:
    • $25 will sustain a patient for 1 week
    • $50 will sustain a patient for 2 weeks
    • $100 will sustain a patient for 1 month
    • $585 saves one life by providing the device, the doctor and medical team, and follow-up treatment for the patient for life

Whether you donate $5 or $500 – every contribution makes a difference.

Heartbeat International Foundation
(Tampa, FL, U.S.)
[email protected]



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