A mother's hope renewed
Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Her entry through the gates at the Cathedral of Praise Basic School in Mandeville, Manchester, a few days ago signalled the first time in more than six months that young Natalee Reid was able to go to class.
Six-year-old Natalee, whose story was published in The Gleaner earlier this month, continues to battle a string of medical complications which doctors say are life threatening.
The complications include rheumatic heart disease, congestive heart failure, acute endocarditis, and a complication that causes narrowing of the throat. Natalee needs to undergo cardiac surgery to reverse the damage to her heart valves, stemming from chronic rheumatic fever.
More urgently, medical practitioners are working to put a stop to her "narrowing throat condition" by treating her with medication. The alternative is a nine-hour long surgery which doctor's fear would prove too burdensome for her already failing heart.
Lorna Smith, Natalee's mother, told The Gleaner that although her daughter is still battling the complications, renewed hope washes over the family.
Smith said that since The Gleaner published her daughter's story, and thanks to the generosity of many Jamaicans and persons abroad, she is now able to purchase the much-needed medication to keep Natalee alive as well as reinstall the electricity necessary to keep the child's medication refrigerated.
Smith said though her daughter was still to undergo surgery to reverse her complications, doctors said her heart is showing some signs of stability due to her keeping up with the prescribed medication.
She lauded the generosity of those who have contributed and pleaded with persons to continue making donations to help her settle hospital bills that have amounted to more than $1 million.
Persons wishing to help may contact Lorna Smith at 887-0805 or make donations to National Commercial Bank account # 402597984, RBTT - 0501330001204, or Bank of Nova Scotia - 0501330001204. Persons making donations should state to whom it is going.