A local heart surgeon recently returned from a trip to Africa working with a non-profit group saving lives.
Dr. Robert Oakes is a member of Team Heart.
The organization travels to Africa every year to treat patients with heart failure.
Many suffer from disintegrated heart valves, by-product of untreated strep throat.
It's not something you hear about here, but it's common in Rwanda.
Dr. Oakes says none of his patients would have had access to heart surgery otherwise.
He says, "To go to Rwanda and go somewhere where heart surgery isn't even an option and to provide hope and to make that something that we can do for patients there is really great."
Team Heart performed 16 surgeries in just a few days.
Dr. Oakes says he's already looking forward to going again next year.