Sat | Feb 22, 2020

My experience at Bustamante

Published:Thursday | December 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer Michael Anderson (left), founder of Save Life Outreach Jamaica and Dr Michelle-Ann Dawson-Richards (right), senior medical officer at the Bustamante Hospital For Children (BHC); examine on of two wheelchairs donated to the hospital by Save Life while Anthony Wood (second left), CEO at BHC, and Richard Robinson, president/ cordinator at Save Life, look on at the hospital on Tuesday.

Jamaicans have been sharing some of their memorable experiences at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and Digicel has provided two tickets to the upcoming Shaggy and Friends concert to each writer of the four submissions below. Look out for more throughout the week.

Hernia surgery a success

My most memorable experience at the Bustamante Hospital for Children was in August 2009 when my then six-year-old son, Gavin, was slated to do a surgery for a hernia.

We arrived from very early in the morning because there were other children who were scheduled to do similar surgery. The children were registered and were asked to wait in the waiting area until their names were called.

The smaller children, such as babies, were allowed to do the surgery before the older ones.

When my son's name was called we went in. I was a bit nervous for him but he went in. The nurse spoke to him while giving him the anaesthetic in the form of blowing in a balloon. After the surgery, I was called back in the room to be with him when he awoke from the anaesthetic. I was advised that he would be given something to drink and if he did not bring it up (vomit) he would go home. Well, he did not vomit and was discharged the same day of the surgery. The surgery was a success.

We were treated very well by the staff of the Bustamante Hospital for Children and had follow-up visits to make sure that the hernia was healing properly. My son is now 12 years old and you would never know that

he did a surgery unless I

told you. Hats off to the staff at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

I want to say that this has been my most memorable experience at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and have even recommended friends to consult the hospital for surgery of this kind.

- Sharon Wright

Doctors sacrifice for their patients

My most positive interaction at the BHC is constantly doctors doing their best with the little resources that they have; some using their own resources to do surgeries and medical procedures because they care about the patients and understand that many cannot afford to cover the associated costs.

As a medical student myself, I get to see and understand the sacrifices of the doctors first hand. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing a child breathing normally after the oversized tonsils obstructing their respiratory passages are removed with diligent care by the surgeons.

In light of the many criticisms of the medical treatment facilities, that's the positive message that I want to share with you and the world. Doctors sacrifice to see the children well again.


A.K. Dixon

Bachelor of Medicine

and Surgery


Memories of the empathy of nurses

My most memorable moment at the Bustamante Hospital for Children occurred at least two decades ago but impacted my life significantly.

I was not going as a patient, and to this day I can't recall the nature of my business. There was this young mother with her baby in a blanket saying the baby had been sleeping for three days. She kept asking the nurses to try to wake the baby, who had by then done their own examination and determined that the baby had, in fact, died.

I recall the nurse sadly shaking her head, saying that the baby was dead, but that she was unsure of how to tell this obviously distraught mother, who was telling everyone how tired she was and how happy she was that the baby was sleeping so long.

I remember the nurse pulling her aside and saying to her that a newborn baby should not sleep for more than three hours at a time, and that a mother should wake the baby even if it was only to feed. She lamented the fact that this mother had no one to support her as a new mother and was saddened that she had to call the police to handle this matter.

I noted that the poor mother was never berated or demonised and was treated kindly and gently by all the nurses.

I left before the police arrived so I never found out how it was resolved.

The impact of that experience made me a better mother. I had no children then, but when they were born, I never forgot that nurse's counsel and diligently woke them up to feed every three hours for at least the first six weeks of their lives.

In fact, I would sometimes caress them while they were sleeping just to reassure myself that they were still breathing. My children are now 16 and 13 and I still kiss them at nights to reassure myself that they are still breathing.

The experience stuck with me as I still feel the empathy of the nurses for the mother, and yet one took the time to use it as a teaching point that I would like to think helped to make me a better mother.

Sandra T. Maxwell


Burn victims

in safe hands

A few years ago I was on the Children's Panadol team which visited the Bustamante Hospital for Children Burnt Unit to treat the children with goodies and offer a gift to the hospital. It was my first time there and I was amazed at the number of children who were burnt in accidents at home. The question in my head of where the parents were when these accidents happened was quickly replaced by the acts of sharing and caring for the children embarked upon that day.

There was this one particular burn victim who was so badly burnt that his face was disfigured. I could hardly look at the child without tears rolling down my eyes. My heart felt weak.

The positive takeaway from the experience was about the nurses and doctors who cared for the children. The overwhelming support, care and love afforded the children that day put me at ease that they were in safe hands. I was reminded by this quotation: "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

Leo Buscaglia.

I have no doubt that if any of the children in my family goes to Bustamante Hospital for

Children that they will be afforded exceptional care.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my positive experience.

Kind regards

Stephnie Stern