Foster Triplets' big plans for Sav hospital kids' wardWednesday, October 13, 2021
BY ROSALEE WOOD
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Members of the teenage gospel group the Foster Triplets have set their sights on improving the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital's paediatric ward where they were born 19 years ago.
Last Friday they donated the facility's first-ever bilirubinometre, a machine that will make a huge difference in the lives of babies born with jaundice.
They also provided an infant incubator, for a total donation valued at more than $1.5 million. They intend to purchase at least two more pieces of equipment and refurbish the paediatric ward.
“We are hoping that we can complete the refurbishing by December,” said Nicole Foster, mother and manager of the group made up of Malaika, Mahari and Mikaili.
The money to purchase the incubator and bilirubinometre was raised through the staging of a virtual concert.
“Persons paid an admission to enter, and individuals from all across the globe sent donations. We made a little over $1 million from the concert admissions and the donations amounted to almost half-a-million,” said the trio's manager/mother.
“The Foster Triplets Ministries launched this initiative in support of the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital as the triplets themselves were delivered at this very institution and were on the paediatric wing.”
In expressing his gratitude for the donations the hospital's head of paediatrics and head of infection control, Dr Ludrick Morris, said the equipment will help to ease some of the pressure now being experienced at the facility.
“The bilirubinometre checks the levels of jaundice,” he explained. “We have to check the levels to see where it's at because at high levels it can cross over into the brain and cause brain injury. So once you see jaundice you can know where the levels are. This equipment will prevent us from having to stick the baby and it will also save time because you get the result right away,” added Dr Morris.
The infant incubator, he explained, will not only be used to regulate the temperature of premature babies but also full-term infants who suffer from oxygen deprivation during or after the birthing process, or other ailments which affect their ability to control their temperatures.
The challenges being faced by the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital have been well documented. On August 12, as Westmoreland reeled from the early days of the third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic, beds were filled way past capacity and the medical facility was declared an emergency zone. That meant it could only accept critical cases. There were also several COVID-19-related deaths among patients and staff at the facility.
Several residents and business owners in the parish have come to the hospital's rescue in recent months, donating supplies to show their appreciation of the hard-working front line staff. The Foster Triplets Ministries donation is just the latest outpouring of support.
The trio have donated to several causes over the years both locally and internationally. They rose to fame in 2015 but their journey as gospel singers, under the name The Foster Triplets Ministries, began when they were eight years old.