Hollywood, Florida – The annual mission to help save the lives of children in Jamaica began with the arrival of the Jamaican Children’s Heart Fund Team, (JCHF), on Sunday, April 6th, 2008. The mission of 16 medical professionals and 4 non-medical support members marked the 12th year of JCHF missions to provide cost free open heart surgery, for children with congenital heart disease. All surgeries were performed at the University Hospital of the West Indies, with the majority of the children being assigned from The Bustamante Hospital for Children.
Upon arrival, the JCHF team immediately went to the University Hospital to meet with the local doctors, Charmaine Scott and Roger Irvine, for the cardiac conference to review the proposed 12 cases to receive the life saving surgery. Surgeries began Monday morning and continued through Thursday evening, for a total of 8 children receiving surgery, with the remaining 4 children being inoperable. All surgeries went very well and by Saturday, April 12th, the first young patients were being released from the hospital.
While there the JCHF team also supported their local charity Sophie’s Place, with their annual donation of several boxes of clothing, toys and food items. Sophie’s Place, an orphanage for severely mentally and physically disabled abandoned children in Irish Town, is a project partnership with the Kiwanis Club of New Kingston. Additionally, JCHF also donated a second Heart Lung Machine along with some medical supplies to the University Hospital.
As a part of JCHF’s educational initiative, Dr. Richard Perryman, JCHF Chairman, Cardiothoracic Surgeon JDCH and Associate Professor UHWI, gave a lecture at the University of the West Indies, on Friday, April 11th, the final day of the mission.
The JCHF team, recognizes and are humbled by the success of the mission, which could not have taken place without the aid of several partners, sponsors and individuals who stepped up to give their support. For the 2008 mission, major support was provided by Mayberry Investments Limited, Apex Medical, American Friends of Jamaica, Air Jamaica, In Motion Dance & Fitness Centre, Kiwanis Club of Lauderdale Lakes & West Sunrise, Jamaica Broilers/Mr. Robert Levy, Ranger Security/Mark & Margaret Mahfood, L.P. & Andrew Azar, Superclubs, Ms. Carole Guntley-Dir. General Ministry of Tourism, Kingston Hilton Hotel, Sunset Jamaica Grand, Philip & Bambi Ziadie in memory of Jordan, Janet Lodenquai-Daniels, Peoples Telecom Jamaica LTD, Kiwanis Club of Cutler Bay, Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, Ms. Betty Ann Blaine with Nationwide Radio, Suzie’s Bakery, Grace Kennedy Limited, Elizabeth Palmer- Kiwanis Club of Cutler Bay and Lucille Young & Valerie Lee-Kiwanis Club of New Kingston.
The entire JCHF team would like to extend a special thank you to all the staff at the UWI Hospital who worked alongside the team, for the entire week of surgeries and Ms. Carole Guntley for the very special care provided to the team.
For more information, please visit our website: www.jamaicanchildrenheartsurgery.org