13 Guyanese patients return home after medical treatment in India
In 30 months, Three Rivers Kids Foundation has successfully treated 46 patients

In May 2008 Three Rivers Kids Foundation of Ontario helped thirteen Guyanese patients attain much needed life saving medical treatment in India for various medical conditions. Eleven patients had open heart surgeries, one had a kidney transplant and one received treatment for congenital dislocation of the left hip.

The 11 cardiac patients suffered from various congenital abnormalities of the heart such as Tetraolgy of Fallot, Ventricular Septal Defect, Atrial Septal Defects and incompetent heart valves. There were also two patients who suffered from Rheumatic heart disease and required valve replacements. Some of the children had developed Pulmonary Artery Hypertension as a result of not being able to get the required treatment soon after birth. One child had severe Pulmonary Artery Hypertension, which made post operative recovery period longer. She had to remain in Intensive Care Unit for 8 days post operatively. Despite all the complications, the patients made incredible recovery.

All of the cardiac patients were diagnosed in January, 2008 during a free cardiac screening clinic which was conducted in Guyana by Dr. Viresh Mahajan, Paediatric Cardiologist from India. If it was not for this clinic, Farzeina Ali age 5 years, would not have received treatment. Farzeina was abandoned by her mother when she was one month old. This child is under the care of her grandmother. Farzeina was referred to Three Rivers Kids Foundation in 2006 with a diagnosis from Guyana of Truncus. Truncus is an abnormality of the heart which has to be treated soon after birth, otherwise the condition becomes inoperable. She was, therefore, considered inoperable. When Farzeina was examined by Dr. Mahajan in January 2008, he discovered that she was not a case of Truncus, rather she was suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot. This child was cyanotic (blue) most of the time. She could not eat, could not walk, has never attended school etc. After corrective heart surgery, Farzeina looks at the mirror frequently and examines her tongue and lips. She realizes that the colour of her face has changed. She talks about going to school, is eating well and has gained weight. Now Farzeina, and the other children in the group are healthy and are hoping to start school in September for the first time. “It is rewarding and remarkable to see the changes in these children daily.” They are adorable and so anxious to return home to their families to begin their new lives.

For the first time, Three Rivers Kids Foundation has taken an adult patient from Guyana to India for kidney transplant. Shoma Lalgie, age 22 years was suffering from complete renal failure. Her father, Bhagwandeen Lalgie donated one of his kidneys to his daughter. Both Shoma and her father have recovered well. The cost of the kidney transplant, including all preoperative testing and hospital stay and accommodation is US$15,000. Medications will cost about US$350 per month which Shoma will have to take for life. Jeanette Singh who was with the patient in India said, “It was the first time that I had to deal with this sort of illness. I have learnt a lot from the doctors here who were extremely helpful and never too busy to answer my questions”.

The group of 13 patients left Guyana on April 29th and returned on May 28th. The names of the children who benefited from this mission are Makhi Winfield 13months from Linden, Marissa Roopchand 18months from Cornedia Ida, Virendra Dookie 2 years from Tuschen, Jasmine Fredericks 5 years from Sophia, Breanna Hunte 5 years from Georgetown, Kaaran Orhandunte 4 years from Skeldon, Shiv Sooklall 6 years from Leguan, Bhanumatie Persaud, 10 years from Canal #1, Farzeina Ali 5 years from New Amsterdam, Marlon Reid 23 years from New Amsterdam, Shoma Lalgie 22years from Vreed-en-hoop, Beesham Singh 5 years Wakeanaam, and Suhkranie Victor. from Goed Fortune.

Below are some of their pictures:

The mothers who accompanied the children were very surprised by the caring attitudes of the doctors who were never too busy to answer their questions and explained every step of the treatment plan to them. To quote some of their remarks, “This is like a miracle, the doctors here are amazing.” This group of parents are very grateful to everyone who helped them.

Three Rivers Kids Foundation would like to thank the Cardiac team consisting of Dr. Viresh Mahajan, Dr. Anil Bhan, Dr Rajesh Sharma. Dr. Ramesh Kumar (Nephrologist) and all the other medical staff at Batra Hospital.

The total cost of the mission including the cost for all 13 surgeries, airfares for the patients and their companions, accommodation, food, medications that the children will have to take for 6 months is about US$150,000

Our sincere thanks to Taiwo Stuart-Worrell and Mr. De Flour of Caribbean Airways, The Canadian High Commissioner of Guyana, to the overseas relatives of the patients who contributed towards the cost treatment and all the hardworking volunteers from Toronto, Guyana and India.

Three Rivers Kids Foundation has many sick children on their waiting list. Our next mission is planned for February/March, 2009.Please help us to make this possible by making a donation today.

In two and a half years since their existence, Three Rivers Kids Foundation has successfully helped 46 patients, 42 from Guyana and 4 from India. The President of Three Rivers Kids Foundation, Jeanette Singh who is a registered nurse travels with the children to India and monitor their medical care. “I am in the operating room for long hours and many days to see our children surgeries. All the mothers accompanying their children want me to take photographs of their children’s hearts. This is where I feel comfortable and enjoy being with the patients before they get their general anesthesia and also be there when they regain consciousness.”