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Shaggy makes a difference - Foundation hands over $30-million worth of medical equipment to children's hospital

Published:Monday | July 18, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Rebecca Packer (right), director of the Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation, views medical equipment which she handed over to the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC) with Tanny Shirley (centre), chairman, BHC and Dr Lambert Innis. The equipment was handed over by the foundation at the hospital on Friday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer

The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation has done it again.

The official handing over of medical equipment was held on the grounds of the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC) on Friday.

The ceremony involved the handing over of US$350,000 (J$30 million) worth of medical equipment, which was raised at the 2010 staging of the Shaggy and Friends benefit concert.

There was also the presentation of a cheque from Chain of Hope to the director of the foundation, Rebecca Packer.

Lisa D'Oyen, administrator of the Chain of Hope children's charity, presented the cheque, valued at US $10,500 (J$903,000). Three computers were also donated by Flow, and two flat screens that were placed at both sides of the tent, displayed the different equipment as Dr Michelle-Anne Richards-Dawson, senior medical officer at BHC, explained their use.

Equipment viewing

After the ceremony, guests were allowed to view the equipment which include surgical stretchers, Bair Hugger Patient Warmers, a blood warmer, a surgical microscope, examination lamps, infusion pumps, pulse oximeters, vital signs monitors and syringe pumps.

According to Patricia Ingram-Martin, acting director of nursing services, the most expensive piece of equipment on display was the blood gas analyser. This is used to determine the alkaline level or how acidic the blood is.

"It has been a long process this time around because we had to be sure we were getting everything the hospital needed," Rebecca Packer said.

Packer compared the process to childbirth as she described the preparation as stressful and sometimes heart-rending but has its rewards. "We definitely feel like we're making a difference and that's what the foundation is about," she said.

With such an astounding accomplishment, Packer spoke about surpassing this year's achievement. "I'm hoping (we will). We can only get bigger and better and I think the awareness is there. When you do a presentation like this and the Jamaican public sees where their money went, that's the impact we're looking for."

The foundation, which started in 2009, is the only one of its kind, where a concert has repeatedly pledged and delivered 100 per cent of its proceeds to its cause.

Although he wasn't present, Shaggy was streamed live from Los Angeles where he was scheduled to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.