In 1995, the world-renowned heart surgeon, Magdi Yacoub, founded the UK charity Chain of Hope.
According to the Charities Commission:
“Chain of Hope provides medical treatment for children and young persons overseas, as well as providing on-site and overseas training, mentoring and provision of equipment as well as the development of infrastructure to establish and develop cardiac services in developing countries. As an interim measure, Chain of Hope brings children to the UK and Europe for open and closed heart operations.”
The charity operates in the following countries:
The charity employs Tom Narducci from the NSPCC, to act as a “children’s issues” advisor
One of the trustees of the charity was top Great Ormond Street heart specialist Professor Philipp Bonhoeffer.
Philipp Bonhoeffer was struck off the medical register after he was found guilty of abusing boys.
Phillip Bonhoeffer abused boys when he was working for the Chain of Hope charity in Mozambique.
According to the Independent:
” The former Great Ormond Street heart specialist facing allegations of sexually abusing young boys in Kenya told one of his victims that his behaviour was “normal and acceptable in Europe”, according to the charges levelled against him at a medical tribunal.
Philipp Bonhoeffer, who was head of cardiology at the children’s hospital until 2009 and is internationally renowned as a pioneer of new treatments, is alleged to have earlier admitted to the parents of another victim that he had paedophile tendencies which he could do nothing about and he hoped the children in Kenya “would never speak of what had happened to them”.
The allegations are contained in the list of charges published by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service…
They include details of six children and young adults with whom he is said to have had sexual contact, shared a bed or touched inappropriately, when they were under-age or without their consent..
The charges relate to the period from 1995 to 2008, during which Professor Bonhoeffer, now aged 50, made frequent trips to Kenya doing charitable work.
From 2005 he travelled with the medical charity Chain of Hope, founded by heart transplant pioneer Sir Magdi Yacoub, which provides treatment to children with heart problems in the developing world.
Professor Bonhoeffer chaired its medical board and sponsored a number of boys and youths in Kenya and paid for their education.
At 3pm on 31 August 2008, Professor Bonhoeffer was found in a flat at the Mater Hospital in Nairobi by Witness Z, a representative of the Chain of Hope due to give evidence at the hearing, who was making an unannounced visit accompanied by a nurse.
According to the charges, Professor Bonhoeffer was “in a bedroom with Kenyan male children and young male adults” to whom he had provided sponsorship and gifts.
Photographs taken on the same day are alleged to have been found on his camera showing him next to a boy “bare chested and lying on a bed” which were “inappropriate” and “sexually motivated”.
When the allegations first emerged, the Metropolitan Police travelled to Kenya in 2008 to investigate and interviewed witness A among other witnesses but no prosecution was brought.
UK residents can be prosecuted for crimes against children abroad but only for those committed after May 2004.”
The BBC reported:
” A former Great Ormond Street Hospital cardiologist has been struck off the medical register after he was found guilty of molesting boys.
Professor Philipp Bonhoeffer was ruled guilty of sexually motivated conduct by a panel at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service on Friday.
Prof Bonhoeffer was found to have behaved inappropriately towards children in Kenya and a boy in France.
The tribunal panel in Manchester decided it was proven that Prof Bonhoeffer had committed inappropriate conduct while in Kenya to undertake charitable medical work between 1993 and 2008.
The panel heard that in 1995 during an overnight stay at a camp in Kenya, he behaved in a sexually motivated way towards a boy of 13.
Prof Bonhoeffer was also found to have touched a 16-year-old Kenyan boy sexually, telling him such conduct was normal and acceptable in Europe.”
Could the abuse of young boys in Mozambique by Bonhoeffer be in anyway linked to the following tragic story?
“Two British nurses have been killed and a third is critically ill after a road accident in Mozambique, it was confirmed today.
Helen Golder, 33, a nurse at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust in London and Liz Callan, 31, from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, were working with a charity at the time.
Both died at the scene of the accident outside the Mozambique capital Maputo.
A third, 32-year-old Susan Andrews, who recently moved from the Royal Brompton to the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, is on a life-support machine in Johannesburg, South Africa.
All three had spent the last week in the country volunteering for the Chain of Hope charity mission with heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, providing intensive care for sick children.
They were on their way for a day trip to the Kruger National Park in South Africa when their bus was involved in an accident on Saturday morning at about 10am.
According to reports, a tyre is believed to have blown, sending the bus veering into another vehicle.
The women, who were all friends, were regular volunteers with the Chain of Hope charity, giving up their holidays to help sick children.
The charity, of which Professor Sir Magdi is founder and president, provides children suffering from life-threatening disease with the corrective surgery and treatment to which they do not have access.
Emma Scanlan, chief executive of Chain of Hope, said: “It is just tragic. They were people who were helping to save other people’s lives and then this happened.”
A statement from the charity said they wanted to express their “deepest sympathies” to the families and friends of the women.
It added: “Chain of Hope was proud to have worked with such caring and dedicated professionals who selflessly gave their time and skills to help treat children in need.
“They all shared a very high level of commitment and dedication and were an inspiration to all those they met.
“They will be deeply missed by fellow volunteers and colleagues at Chain of Hope and the charity is doing all it can to support the families of these three amazing ladies who have given their time to help save children’s lives.”
The mystery doesn’t end there.
In a blog, discussing medical negligence, the following comment was made:
” Has anyone asked the Chain of Hope charity what was happening to the babies stolen thymus gland organs at the Royal Brompton teaching hospital, where professors were trialling and experimenting to find immunity suppressants for Merck and Glaxo pharmaceuticals?”
Is there more to the Chain of Hope charity than meets the eye?