Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Andrica’s 'Breath of Life' touches St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital

Published:Thursday | November 12, 2015 | 11:00 AM
PHOTO BY CARL GILCHRIST Judith Atkinson-Linton, the Accident and Emergency manager at St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital (left) accepts the industrial nebuliser from Andrica Belcher of Breath of Life, as Claudine Taylor, nurse in charge and Herma Reeves-Hall, the hospital’s operations manager, look on. Also in the photo is an unnamed porter who helped to unload the oxygen tank (at left) which was also donated by Belcher.

ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:

A St Ann resident has moved to assist persons with similar ailments as hers, upon realising that nebulisers were in short supply at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital when she visited the institution for medical care less than a year ago.

When Andrica Belcher visited the hospital last December to get treatment for asthma, it was to be the start of a journey that culminated last week in her donating a cylinder of oxygen and an industrial nebuliser capable of serving four persons at a time to the hospital.

At the time, Belcher was diagnosed as suffering from chronic bronchitis, which she said was heading towards becoming pneumonia. Her grandmother, who was ill with pneumonia at the same time, had visited the hospital also, but according to Belcher, "they couldn't find an oxygen tank".

The cost of the equipment donated is in the region of $87,000. She raised most of the funds by, first, hosting a fish fry and then seeking donations from friends and family members both local and overseas.

She has since named the effort, 'Breath of Life' and will seek to do more to assist the institution.

Before purchasing the equipment for the hospital, Belcher had bought a smaller nebuliser for her personal use, but she was just not satisfied, when she thought of the situation at the hospital.

At the start, the fundraising fish fry did not work out as planned, leaving her in tears, she explained. But she never gave up, as she started asking people to donate $500 - or whatever they could - towards the effort.

SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT

She was finally able to purchase the nebuliser a couple of weeks ago. In order to acquire the cylinder of oxygen to accompany it, she had to use her credit card, leaving herself in the red.

But she feels a sense of accomplishment, knowing she is helping a worthy cause.

"I wish I could do more. I hope that next year, other people will come on board and help me."

Last Thursday, Judith Atkinson-Linton, the Accident and Emergency manager, and Herma Reeves-Hall, the hospital's operations manager, were on hand to receive the donation in the presence of Nurse in Charge Claudine Taylor.

Atkinson-Linton said thanks on behalf of the hospital, saying: "We just want to say thank you very, very, very much for this gift of nebuliser and cylinder of oxygen. We are extremely grateful and we are sure - especially now as the cold season starts, when we get more and more asthmatic - that we will be able to better treat patients.

"And we thank you very much, Miss Belcher, that you thought of us, and it is good when citizens can decide to assist the community. Thank you very, very much."

rural@gleanerjm.com