The eminent Greek pediatric cardiac surgeon from Istanbul, Afksendiyod Kalangos and his team perform everyday surgeries to children from the poorest parts of the world for free and wherever they need him: Lebanon, Georgia, Serbia, Cyprus, India, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritius Mozambique, Eritrea, Kirgizstan, Madagascar, Venezuela, Ukraine, Botswana and more.
He works 18 hours a day, but, as he says, he never looks at his watch. During his charity trips he was found to perform even 50 surgeries within 10 days. In total, he has operated more than 12,000 surgeries for free to children around the world.
“I’m going beyond my power,” he says. “I believe in God.” The first person who showed him the path of benevolence was his father, a top pathologist in Istanbul: “Since my childhood, I remember that my father was telling me to listen to people’s pain and especially of those who live in poverty,” he said.
“The conditions in the Third World countries give me the impression that certain things are still ‘beyond my power,’ but I never give up.” He said for things to change that, “The great forces should comprehend differently the causes of poverty”.
Kalangos is the head of the Cardiovascular Department of the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG) and founder of the Charitable Foundation Coeurs Pour Tous for the Third World countries and the patent holder of Kalangos Ring, an innovative method that places a “ring” around the child’s heart to repair the mitral valve.
As he says, more children will continue to see life in an optimistic way, as his work will be continued by other doctors who are willing to offer life to all poor neighborhoods of the world.