A crowd of 650 guests celebrated Children’s HeartLink’s 50th anniversary at HeartLink Gala on October 25, 2019. Many traveled from partner hospitals around the world or watched via livestream to take part in the event that raised $1 million. Speakers included Jackie Boucher, Children’s HeartLink president; Molly Joseph, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Global; and Omar Ishrak, Medtronic CEO. Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Joseph A. Dearani received the Founders Award.
Special guest Sofia Mourtzopoulou, from Greece, returned to Minneapolis for the first time since 1981, when she was flown here at age 6 for life-saving surgery. Now a lawyer with a husband and young son, Mourtzopoulou attended the gala with her beloved Minnesota host mother Besse Maragos, with whom she lived after surgery and before returning home to Greece.