Objective of the Programme
To help fund the cost of specialized surgery for congenital heart diseases for Bajan children whose families do not have the resources or the required insurance coverage to pay.
How the Programme Works
The programme is conducted by Dr. Richard Ishmael, founder member of Variety the Children’s Charity and respected Heart Surgeon. The procedures are performed by Dr. Jose Ettedgui, Division Head of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Florida/Jacksonville who comes to Barbados and donates his services free of cost to the cause. With the assistance of Variety the Children’s Charity, these surgeries are performed at a fraction of the cost by importing the expertise and using new technology to reduce the costs, down time, travel time and recovery time.
Every year approximately 35 children are born in Barbados with congenital heart disease -15 will need surgery or some other interventional procedure.
There are no paediatric cardiac surgeons in Barbados.
Children needing paediatric cardiac surgical and interventional cases have been sent overseas to Jacksonville Florida. These surgeries cost between US$40,000 and $60,000.
Paediatric Cardiac Interventional Procedures use the veins and arteries as conduits instead of cutting through the chest.
The surgeries are performed at the new State-of-the-art facilities at Bracebridge Medical Centre in Belleville, St. Michael.
Recovery for traditional methods can be six weeks; recovery for Paediatric Cardiac Interventional Procedures is less than one day in some instances.
The new programme is projected to bring in a Paediatric Cardiologist to perform up to 20 surgeries per year, reducing the back log and waiting time for these necessary procedures.