Jamaica-Cayman heart surgery MOU leaves parents, doctors overjoyed
Latheva James and the rest of her family are nervous yet overjoyed as they prepare to travel with three-year-old Lashell Campbell to the Health City Hospital in the Cayman Islands, where the younger is to undergo heart surgery.
Campbell is among three babies from the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC) who will benefit from heart surgeries through a memorandum of understanding between the Government/BHC and Health City. BHC is at this time unable to undertake a large number of heart surgeries due to limited Intensive Care Unit capacity and general resource constraints.
James, who is Lashell's aunt, told The Gleaner that it is a great feeling to know that her niece will have a chance to live a normal life.
A LITTLE NERVOUS
"I am a little nervous. I was worried and her mom was worried also. Both of us break down in the house couple days ago crying, but Lashell is a baby who nuh mek nutten bother her. She will often say, 'Auntie, don't worry about anything. God is going to heal me. I'm going to do my surgery and they going to cut my heart, open it, fix it, put it in back and I come home'. She is not scared at all," she declared.
"We are praying for her and everyone who is going to do the surgery because we need God to be in control. We don't want to lose our children, and I thank the doctors. We are expecting the best."
... Returning mother grateful after child's heart surgery
Shelly-Ann Harriott, mother of two-year-old Treshel Harriott, recently returned to Jamaica after her child's successful heart surgery.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity. It was a very stressful situation. I didn't know what exactly was going to happen in the space of time before she did the surgery. I do appreciate everything that the doctors did here at the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC) because there was a long list of children, but my baby got the chance to do this surgery. I am really grateful," she said.
Dr Sharonne Forrester, paediatric cardiologist at the BHC, said the hospital is constantly working hard to ensure that every child lives an abundant life.
"The patients who have gone before and are back are doing well. The parents said that they were treated well over there (the Cayman Islands). The ones to go have what we call congenital heart disease. It means that they were born with a congenital heart defect. Most of these children are symptomatic of their heart defect and so their quality of life is not as it should be, and what this surgery will afford them is to have a better quality of life."
Both Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health, and Dr Chandy Abraham, chief executive officer at the Health City Hospital, have expressed a desire to do more collaborations in the future.