Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Negril children get Orthotic help

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Members of the team that staged the Negril Orthotic Clinic. At front (from left) are Nicola Smith, Elaine Allen-Bradley, Jodi Beversluis and Gabriel Beversluis. At back are Rasheena Campbell and Jim Wellise.

NEGRIL, Westmoreland:

More than 30 children from western Jamaica last week benefitted from the annual Negril Paediatric Orthotic Clinic, which was held at the Sunshine Village Plaza, in West End, in the resort town.

The clinic's objective is to provide corrective alignment to children suffering from lower congenital abnormalities through the use of brace or splint. It is a collaborative effort of the RIU hotel chain, retired emergency care nurse Elaine Allen-Bradley and a team of volunteer medical professionals from the United States.

The braces range from a low of US$1,500 to US$3,000. These were provided free of cost to the children. According to orthotic specialist, Gabriel Beversluis, he is quite pleased to be a part of the clinic.

"I have been aware of this clinic since it started five years ago," Beversluis said. "And I have always wanted to come down and work for a long time, ever since I heard about it. It has been a great week, very enjoyable very fulfilling. We plan to come back this fall."

"I am very thankful for the opportunity to come down and help out... I am thankful to the RIU hotel chain for supporting and sponsoring this clinic; and the people here in Negril, who have been working so hard to make it happen," said Beversluis. "It is so great to see what we can all do when we work together and each play our part in helping to make the world a better place."

In 2009, RIU Resorts committed $16 million to sustaining the programme, covering the operational cost of the clinic, including a staffed nurse, an office manager and a technician, as well as the accommodation cost of the visiting Paediatric specialists from the USA.

The clinic is led by paediatric orthosist, Grant Meyers, who has spent more than three decades fitting surgical devices designed to activate or supplement weakened limbs.