On March 8th, 2009, Three Rivers Kids Foundation took another 9 patients from Guyana to Delhi, India for much needed medical treatment. The group comprising of 8 children and 1 adult along with an accompanying family member each arrived in Delhi on March 10th/2009 after staying in Toronto for 2 days. The children suffered from various forms of congenital heart disease such as ventricular septal defects, Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), incompetent heart valves and Rheumatic Heart Disease. One patient had an aortic aneurysm and required “Bentall’s operation.” The adult patient who went with the group had a quadruple bypass.

One child underwent her third open heart surgery. She had a Ventricular Septal Defect  (hole in the heart) repaired and a 22mm Pulmonary Valve Conduit.  She should be able to live a normal life now and will be able to start attending school in three months time,  and eventually be able to get married, have children etc.  This child will need to undergo a final open heart surgery when she is in her early twenties to replace the Conduit with a larger one which should sustain her for the rest of her life. Another child had an aortic aneurysm which was 7cms. The doctors were truly amazed that she made it all the way to India without the aneurysm rupturing. She was referred to as a walking time bomb.

The names of the children who benefited from this mission are Imitiaz Alli and Gabrielle Haywood both 18 months old, Sadna Persaud (4 years), Devin Ramlackhan (5 years), Diego Poon (9 years), Sherry Ann Martin (12 years),  Ashton Ramkumar (14 years), Keisha Tucker (18 years), and Zamankhan Khan (58 years).

The patients were treated at Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre in New Delhi. The cardiac team consisted of Dr. Viresh Mahajan, Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Anil Bhan, Cardiac Surgeon, Dr Rajesh Sharma, Pediatric Intensivist. This was a stressful mission as some of the children had very complicated medical issues.  “There were some tense moments,”  said Jeannette Singh a registered nurse who accompanied the group.

In our three and a half years of existence, Three Rivers Kids Foundation has successfully helped 55 children. This is made possible through the kindness, hard work and dedication of many people in Guyana and Canada.  Three Rivers Kids Foundation would like to thank all those who helped to make this mission possible. In particular, we are grateful to Naresh Jairam  from Guyana who co-ordinated  the applications for passports, visas and tax exemption for the group. Sincere appreciation  to the Ministry of Health of Guyana for their financial contributions,  Taiwo Stuart –Worrell of Caribbean Airways, to all the families in Toronto who contributed and accommodated the patients and their companions and to everyone who helped to make this mission possible.

Three Rivers Kids Foundation is planning to take another group of children from Guyana to India in February 2010.

We need to inform relatives in Toronto that Three Rivers Kids Foundation cannot change visa status so that their relatives from Guyana can stay on in Canada nor can we obtain visitors’ visas to Canada.