BHC receiving more enquiries about liver transplants since historic surgeries

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BHC receiving more enquiries about liver transplants since historic surgeries

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS
Senior staff reporter
dunkleywillisa@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Since the first-ever liver transplants in the island were performed two years ago at Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), the hospital — the only one of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean — has received increased enquiries about similar procedures.


Described as ground-breaking, the operations were led by a medical team from the United States and involved personnel from Kingston Public Hospital and Bustamante Hospital in September of 2018.


Yesterday, head of Department for Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at BHC Dr Brian James told the first Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange for the new year that the hospital, which is the first in the English-speaking Caribbean to ever successfully perform a liver transplant, has “been getting some enquiries about liver transplants” since.


“The child who got a new liver from his father, that child came back and he's doing outstandingly well. It makes you feel like you made a difference,” Dr James said, adding that the hospital's paediatric urologist has been tending to “problems of that nature outside Jamaica”.


“They tend to either ask him to come or send their babies to us,” Dr James disclosed.


In the meantime, Dr James said the hospital continues to offer services outside the island.


“Most of the services that we would offer outside of Jamaica would be mainly on an emergency basis, and those would be very, very high-level services.

So, for example, children for cardiac surgery or even some born with abnormal plumbing in the heart, [and] neurosurgeries — children who are born with problems in their brains — those are the kinds of referrals we get,” he added.


The hospital is one of three entities that will this year benefit from the annual Sigma 5K Walk/Run scheduled for Sunday, February 16 at Emancipation Park in New Kingston beginning at 7:30 am.


“We do want to thank all our sponsors, all our volunteers, the entire foundation staff that put this together, our patrons, and our beneficiaries,” assistant vice-president group marketing, Sagicor Group Jamaica Alysia White said yesterday.

She further urged Jamaicans to see the event as more than a run or an inconvenience.


“I think one of the things that make us as successful is our extreme focus on beneficiaries each year.

It is not just a run, it is fund-raising for the people of Jamaica. If you remember that our children are sick and some of them have no parents, if you put that in the forefront of your mind, all of the road closures and all the various things we can complain about on a regular basis will just suddenly take a back seat,” added White, who is also executive director of Sagicor Foundation.


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