STORIES FROM THE HEART: THE CARING CONTINUES – Dare to care and make a donation today!

The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation, with help from its corporate sponsors including the Wisynco Group of Companies and Island Outpost, have put their all into making a difference in the lives of the children at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. The benefit concert may now be over, but the hospital is always in need of equipment that will help save even more lives, the lives of our children.

Here are two stories told by two parents who know today that their children have futures because of this hospital.

Rohan Francis

My daughter Brinae was diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year. My baby is only four years old so the news was heart breaking for me and my family. Brinae is my first and only child, she’s daddy’s little girl and I haven’t left her side during her sickness.

Rohan Francis and his daughter Brinae who is a patient at the hospital

Rohan Francis and his daughter Brinae who is a patient at the hospital

Before my daughter got sick, she was a normal little girl, she had already finished one year of basic school, and was getting ready to start her second. All of that changed on August 18 when she complained of a very bad headache. I took her to the doctor, and he told me she was having a migraine, but something told me that something more serious was wrong and I took her to a children’s clinic for a second opinion. The clinic referred me to the Bustamante Hospital for Children where doctors could finally tell me what was really wrong, my little girl had a tumour the size of her fist behind her brain. I was devastated, I didn’t want to hear anymore, but the doctor continued to tell me that they needed to go into my daughter’s head to remove the tumour because it was preventing fluids from her brain getting to her legs, and her legs were getting weaker and she may soon lose the use of them. All I could think about was why? Why my little girl?

Brinae had her surgery in mid November and it was successful. I stayed with her every step of the way sometimes only going home to shower and change clothes so that I can come back and sleep by her side. The doctor’s removed only 90% of her tumour, because they were afraid that if they cut it too close they may give her brain damage. They also put a shunt in to help carry the fluids from her brain to her legs.

I believe that this is the end of my baby’s tumour illness, but I’m too afraid to ask the doctor’s if they have to go in again and do more, there is only so much I can take at a time.

This whole journey with Brinae has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. It has been emotionally draining and a financial strain too. Thank God for the free treatment at the Bustamante Hospital, because I am currently unemployed and Brinae’s mother’s income could not sustain us and pay her hospital bills. Though she received treatment free, I still had to pay $33,000 for her to do an MRI at UWI hospital, of which I’ve only paid off half. Also because we live in Glengoff in St. Catherine, I have to take three taxis and a bus to get to the hospital.

Throughout this entire ordeal, I have to thank the doctor’s and the nurses, not only did they keep me informed but in times of need they were a shoulder to lean on, and most importantly, they gave my baby hope. Before her sickness Brinae wanted to be a nurse, but now she wants to be a doctor, policewoman and soldier too. I am just happy that she is still alive to have dreams. I will make sure that she not only goes to church, but puts her all into serving God, because He is really the one who brought her through.”

Patricia Pryce

I am the mother of a one year old who was born with congenital heart legions. My daughter’s name is Shamar Adams and thanks to the doctors at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, she now has a future.

One year old Shamar Adams with her mother Patricia Pryce

One year old Shamar Adams with her mother Patricia Pryce

A couple days after Shamar was born I realised that something was wrong with her, her lips were turning blue, along with the rest of her, and she got really fussy around feeding time. When I took her to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, they told me that she had congenital heart legions, or holes in her heart, and she was turning blue because her blood wasn’t being filtered properly. When they told me this I cried and cried, I never knew that babies could live after such an ordeal.

Shamar spent her first six weeks in the hospital, and I never left her side, I slept on chairs in her room so that she wouldn’t be scared if she woke up in the nights. The longer I waited for a surgery date to be set, the more frustrated I got. Shamar’s illness affected me so badly that it set off my own problems with high blood pressure. Finally, when she was about six months old the doctors told me that she was ready for surgery. They explained to me how they were going to open my little baby’s chest up and put in a special tube to carry more blood to her lungs from her heart. I almost couldn’t believe it, but by now I had developed a special relationship with her doctors and I trusted them, because I knew they loved Shamar too and wouldn’t let anything happen to her.

That first surgery was successful. She’s climbing, playing and even being rude, just doing everything! The whole community came out when I brought Shamar home; they supported me and my husband, both emotionally and financially giving me taxi fare from time to time. The support I got also came from the doctors and the nurses, they never hesitated to help. Sometimes I came to see my baby and I had nothing to eat, and it was the nurses that would give me something to eat. They told me everything about what was going on.

There are a lot of sick children at the hospital, and the doctors work very hard. They need as much help as they can get and I’m sure that with more and better equipment they can do even greater deeds than they are now.

Shamar is not done her treatment as yet, she will have to come back next year when she is two to do her final operation, until then, we are just so glad to have her home we don’t even mind the monthly clinic visits. I can’t wait for this all to be over, I have nothing but dreams for her now. I think I want her to be a prime minister.”

With your donation, the Bustamante Hospital for Children, will be able to buy much needed equipment so that they can continue to save the lives of children like Brinae and Shamar. So dare to care and make a donation today. Join The Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation and Corporate sponsors, Wisynco Group of companies through its brands Coca Cola, Ocean Spray-Wata and Wata, and Island Outpost in making a difference. Visit or call 444-2452, make your donation and continue to care.

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.


add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.