Children in Barbados who face mobility and other physical challenges are provided with therapy by the A C Graeme Development Centre, a government funded institution. On a monthly basis, Variety Tent 73 supplements this care by paying salaries for one or more physiotherapists to work with these special children.
One such therapist is Melissa Walcott-Pusey, whose services on the island we could not possibly adequately compensate. Justina, a ten year old girl diagnosed with Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, is one of Melissa’s patients.
In January 2013, as a result of Melissa’s caring and thorough services, Variety provided Justina with a hospital bed and air mattress so that she could adjust her head and feet and her mother could easily change her position to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers and acid reflux. The bed’s height from the ground can adjust, making it easier for Mum to provide for Justina’s toileting needs and daily passive range of movements to her limbs without injuring her back.
Justina will never be able to independently care for herself and therefore it is imperative that her mother remains as healthy as possible in order to facilitate long term care for her.
In 2013, Tent 73 also provided Melissa and another therapist with training to ensure that they stay relevant in their fields of work. During the year Justina is transported by Sunshine Coach to our Summer Movie Mornings and to our Gold Heart and Christmas parties, ensuring that she is provided not only her physical needs but also with social events she can enjoy.