Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
MORE THAN 90 pedal cyclists are expected to take to the streets later this month in a charity ride to raise funds for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
The cyclists will participate in the 20th renewal of Jamaica By Bike. The theme of this year's event is 'Kingston2Negril Charity Ride' and the proceeds will go towards the purchase of two fibre-optic bronchoscopes.
"The donation will be extremely important because, as you realise, the Government has limited resources and they will provide for the needs of the public in general but when it comes to specialised equipment, we have to rely on corporate Jamaica to assist us in acquiring these things that are potentially life-saving," Dr Hyacinth Harding-Goldson, senior lecturer and head of the department of anaesthesia and the ICU of the UHWI, told The Gleaner.
A fibre-optic bronchoscope is a flexible, thin, tube-like instrument which is passed through the nose or mouth and down in to the lungs. It enables the doctor to see inside the patient's breathing passages to ensure proper placement of life-saving tubes necessary for anaesthesia or attachment.
treating trauma patients
The instruments, which will be purchased for the UHWI, are valued at US$10, 000 each. It is most useful in treating trauma patients with spinal injuries in the neck region.
Harding-Goldson noted that there is a significant number of road crashes each year and said the bronchoscope would go a far way in treating victims.
"As with the general population, members of Jamaica By Bike have been patients in our ICU and this has led to the realisation of the important life-saving services that we offer," she told The Gleaner.
The 158-mile Kingston to Negril journey will start at Toyota Jamaica Limited on Spanish Town Road in Kingston. The bikers will head northwest to Ocho Rios, St Ann, and then west to Negril, Westmoreland.
"When we heard about giving back to the ICU of UHWI, which deals with a lot of car accidents and helping people to survive, we knew that this was something that we will definitely need to be a part of," Howard Foster, sales and marketing manager at Toyota Jamaica, said.
As the presenting sponsor, Toyota Jamaica will provide transportation as well as $500, 000 in cash towards the organisation of the event.
Among the other sponsors are The Gleaner Company Limited, The Wisynco Group and Restaurants of Jamaica.
Terry-Ann Wilson, corporate affairs officer at The Gleaner Company, said the support for Jamaica By Bike comes from the company's deep-seated passion for health and wellness.
"We are supportive of the health sector and anything The Gleaner can do to support it, we will continue to do," Wilson said.
The Jamaica By Bike charity ride will take place on Saturday, October 13.
Full Caption: Cyclist Martin Fong Kong (left) shows a bicycle to Terry-Ann Wilson (second left) of The Gleaner Company at the Jamaica By Bike 'Kingston2Negril Charity Ride 2012' press conference held at Toyota Jamaica, Spanish Town Road, Kingston, yesterday. Also in the photo are (from right) Tom Connor, managing director of Toyota Jamaica, Chloe DaCosta of the Wisynco Group and Dr Hyacinth Harding-Goldson of the University Hospital of the West Indies. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer