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Funds raised for Phuket boy’s heart surgery



PHUKET: Ten-year-old Rino Vogt, who suffers from a rare cardiac condition requiring immediate open heart surgery, is scheduled to undergo the procedure in mid-November, the Gazette is pleased to announce.

Runners from around Phuket who plan to participate in the “Run4Rino Charity Run” at Nai Harn Lake on Sunday will be pleased to know it appears that enough funds have already been raised to pay for Rino’s surgery, as well as post-surgical care.

Any further money raised will go towards surgery for the next child on a Bangkok list of patients awaiting treatment for Ebstein’s Anomaly, the rare congenital condition Rino suffers from.

The Phuket Gazette broke this story on August 14 when Rino’s father, locally known musician and film-maker Ritchie Newton, formed a certified trust called Rino’s Heart Foundation to raise the two million baht needed for the complicated surgery.

Since then the Bangkok Heart Hospital administrators have come to Rino’s aid, significantly lowering the cost of Rino’s surgery.

Dr Boomiporn, who has worked diligently on Rino’s case, is now assembling a first-class surgical team to perform the operation, which is extremely rare in Thailand.

Thanks to the many events Ritchie organized, with contributions from hundreds of friends and supporters around the world, it now looks as if Rino’s broken heart will finally be fixed.

Among the largest contributions, about 740,000 baht, came from an anonymous donor based in Hong Kong.

Due to the success of the funding drive, a planned charity concert scheduled for Koh Samui on October 24 will be postponed until after Rino’s surgery.

A free concert to show the family’s appreciation for the overwhelming support will be planned in the near future.

The Run4Rino event will still go ahead on Sunday, with proceeds going to help the next child – a Thai girl suffering from the same condition.

The new campaign will go by the name “Power Hearts”.

To register and get a pledge sheet by email, contact David at:

For more information about the fun run call 085-335 8573.

For more information about Rino’s story or Ebstein’s Anomaly, visit:

— Marc Mulloy


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