Heart medics in mercy dash to help Chernobyl children
DR Paul Oslizlok has treated thousands of children with heart defects.
But he is bracing himself for some of the most challenging cases of his career when he flies out to the Ukraine today to operate on children exposed to radiation.
The veteran paediatric cardiologist at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin hospital and his colleague, fellow paediatric cardiologist Professor Mark Redmond, are on a two-week mercy mission with the Chernobyl Children International (CCI) charity run by Adi Roche. They will perform surgery on children born with congenital heart defects after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Even though the accident happened 25 years ago, more than 6,000 children are born each year with heart defects.
Dr Oslizlok and his medical team first operated on three children who were airlifted from the centre of the Chernobyl zone in critical condition 15 years ago. They are still alive today thanks to their efforts.
He and Professor Redmond will join an international team of volunteers in Kharkiv, in the centre of the Chernobyl fall-out zone, to save as many children as possible.