Conrad Joseph, one of CanGO’s Directors, returned from Guyana in late February 2020, where he organized the surgeries for the children who were referred by our physicians during our 2019 mission. These children were from Regions 1, 2 and 6. Most of the children returned to their homes on February 27 following their post-op appointments. All surgeries were very successful. There are, however, a few more surgeries to be performed: One child, who had her hernia repaired also has a malformed ear and decreased hearing. After doing the pre-op testing, the ENT surgeon determined that more specialized equipment will be needed to perform the surgery. This surgery is scheduled for the Fall of 2020. In addition, two children, one with a hernia and one with club foot, will have their surgeries on March 23.
CanGO would like to thank the physicians of Smile Train and Dr. Shilo Rajkumar for performing the surgeries on the children with cleft lip and/or palate, Dr. Marisa Seepersaud for performing hernia repairs on the two children, Dr. Shawn Legall who will be performing the surgery on the child with decreased hearing, Dr. Akintunde Watson who will be performing the surgery on the child with club foot, and the GHPC Echo Lab for performing the echocardiograms on the two children with potential cardiac issues. Below are some pictures of the children.
CanGO would like to thank all the families who donated gently used equipment (wheelchairs, strollers, and a feeding chair) to us for this year's mission. We'd also like to thank GT Lime, an American organization, who donated enough funds to purchase two Transport Chairs along with special foam to customize the chairs to fit the children. The rest of the Transport Chairs were purchased with funds that were specifically donated to us for equipment. All equipment were adjusted by our Physiotherapists, Paula Holla and Sue Kirkpatrick, to fit each child before distribution.
While on the annual Canada-Guyana Outreach Mission (CanGO) to Guyana in 2018, the following patients were diagnosed by Dr. Clare Mitchell (Developmental Paediatrician and Medical Director of CanGO) and referred to Georgetown. When possible, children were treated by local (Guyanese) surgeons. The outcome of this collaboration was:
· Two (2) children with cleft lip and/or palate for surgery to Dr. John Mitchell, President of the Health and Educational Relief Organization (H.E.R.O.), an American organization.
· One (1) child to Dr. Shawn Legall, a Guyanese Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon, for a tonsillectomy.
· One (1) child to Dr. Marissa Seepersaud, a Guyanese Pediatric Surgeon for a hernia repair.
In March 2019, one of CanGO’s Directors, Mr. Conrad Joseph, flew to Guyana to make final travel and accommodation arrangements for the children and a parent each.
On March 15, Conrad met all the children and their parents in Charity and brought them to Georgetown where arrangements were made, through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, for them to stay at the Amerindian Hostel.
Over the next three (3) days, the cleft lip and/or palate surgeries were performed by Dr. Doron Ringler, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon from New York in collaboration with Dr. Shilindra Rajkumar, a Guyanese Plastic Surgeon. The tonsillectomy was performed by Dr. Legall, and the hernia repair was performed by Dr. Seepersaud. After examining the child with the hernia, circumcision was deemed necessary so this procedure was carried out as well. All the surgeries were successful.
On March 22, the children had their post-op appointments and were discharged. The parents and children left Georgetown the following day for their trip home.
In addition to the surgical patients, the following children received medical treatment:
· One (1) child from Region 1 was seen by Dr. Ruth Quaicoe, an Audiologist at the Georgetown Public Hospital and was diagnosed with hearing loss in her right ear. This child will receive hearing aids.
· One (1) child with dystonia was seen by Dr. James Kort, an Orthopedic Surgeon from Arizona, and was referred to a neurologist. In the interim he was seen by Dr. Winsome Scott, a Guyanese Pediatrician.
CanGO is indebted to the many stakeholders who came together to make these life-changing surgeries possible:
· Dr. Doron Ringler and Dr. John Mitchell of H.E.R.O.
· Dr. Shilindra Rajkumar, Plastic Surgeon.
· Dr. James Kort, Orthopedic Surgeon
· Dr. Shawn Legall, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon.
· Dr. Marissa Seepersaud, Paediatric Surgeon.
· Dr. Winsome Scott, Pediatrician
· Dr. Ruth Quaicoe, Audiologist.
· The many Guyana government agencies: Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Regional Heath Officer for Region 1, Dr. Ramjas.
· Lion Tamesh Jagmohan for providing return transportation from Charity to Supenaam.
· United Women for Special Children for providing transportation from Parika to Georgetown.
· Dr. Clare Mitchell, Medical Director of CanGO, who continues to be very passionate about taking care of all children, especially those with special needs.
· Mr. Conrad Joseph of CanGO who volunteered to fly to Guyana to take care of the children and their parents.
· Ms. Yvonne Triesman, President of CanGO, whose tireless coordination, communication and attention to detail, led to a successful collaboration between diverse groups.
The welfare of children, including those with developmental challenges, have always been a top priority for the CanGO team. Each year an increasing number of severely handicapped children from Regions 1 and 2 in Guyana are being brought to CanGO’s clinics.
GT Lime had learned of these conditions and has recently donated three (3) transport chairs to CanGO for the 2019 Mission. These chairs will be customized in Guyana to fit each individual child (an expert in modifying the chairs will be a part of the CanGO team this year). They will alleviate the strain on parents, especially mothers, from having to carry their children wherever they go.
CanGO and the families of the children who will be receiving the transport chairs are very grateful to GT Lime for this very generous donation.
Elroy is a 12-year-old boy who lives in Karawab (Upper Pomeroon River - Region 2). In 2007 he was diagnosed by Dr. Clare Mitchell (Developmental Paediatrician) with cerebral palsy and a subluxed right hip. Since Elroy is unable to walk, he was being carried by his mother on her hip. This year, CanGO purchased a collapsible transport chair for Elroy that will allow his mother to transport him without difficulty.
Last year Dr. Clare Mitchell (Developmental Paediatrician) and Paula Holla (Physiotherapist) met Holly, a developmentally-challenged child from Waramuri (Region 1). As she was unable to work and was always lying on the floor or in a hammock, they had a temporary chair built for her. This year CanGO brought her a stroller which will enable her mother to transport her without difficulty.
Benjamin Philip Frederick Buckler Smart was a very special little boy who was born on January 10, 2004. At 11 months old he was diagnosed with low platelets and diabetes. He underwent two (2) bone marrow transplants at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto just after his 2nd birthday. He then suffered from Graft vs Host Disease and lived 65% of his life in a special unit in the Hospital.
Benjamin was known as a very happy boy. He was a real character and loved to laugh at funny things just like any little boy his age would do. He passed away on November 16, 2011, less than 2 months before his 8th birthday,
Earlier this year, Benjamin’s parents, Doreen and Philip Smart, donated his state-of-the-art wheelchair and other medical supplies to CanGO with the request that the wheelchair be given to a suitable child in Guyana. This wheelchair can be adjusted as the child grows to adulthood.
An organization in Guyana (United Women for Special Needs Children) was contacted by CanGO to help locate a child who would benefit from this very generous donation from the Smart Family. A very deserving 7-year-old boy, Nidesh Persaud, fondly known as Vishal, was found in Berbice.
Vishal's mother, a single parent with serious financial difficulties, had complications giving birth to Vishal, as a result of which he suffered brain damage. Vishal’s mom does everything for him as he is simply incapable of doing anything for himself. Over the years, with therapy and some medical assistance, his motor skills have improved somewhat, but he remains incapacitated.
Vishal’s mother and grandmother brought him to the clinic that CanGO held on Sunday, November 11 at the New Amsterdam School for Special Needs Children in Berbice. He was seen here by Dr. Clare Mitchell, our Developmental Paediatrician, and by Paula Holla, our Physiotherapist and adjustments were made to the wheelchair to accommodate Vishal’s disabled little body.
Vishal’s mother and grandmother were overwhelmed by the donation and are extremely appreciative of the wheelchair. Attached are pictures of Vishal in his new wheelchair.
While on our medical missions to Guyana in 2016 and 2017, Dr. Clare Mitchell (Developmental Paediatrician and Medical Director of CanGO saw eight (8) children with cleft lip and/or palate, requiring surgery in Region 1 (Karaburi and Santa Rosa), and in Region 2 (Kabakaburi, Warakaba and Charity). These children were then referred to Dr. John Mitchell, President of the Health and Educational Relief Organization (H.E.R.O.), an American organization. All eight (8) children were accepted for surgery by H.E.R.O.
Over the ensuing months, Ms Yvonne Triesman, President of CanGO, communicated regularly with the Guyana Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Regional Heath Officers for Regions 1 and 2 to inform them of the planned surgeries and to coordinate medical care, transportation and accommodation for the children and their caregivers.
On March 2, 2018 one of CanGO’s Directors, Mr. Conrad Joseph, flew to Guyana to make final arrangements for the children and a parent each to travel to Georgetown for the surgery and for accommodation for the group while the children were having surgery. Mr. Sharir Chan, Chief Operating Officer of Guyana Medical Relief (GMR) partnered with CanGO on this project. On March 9, Conrad and Sharir met all the children and their parents in Charity and brought them to Georgetown where arrangements were made, through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, for them to stay at the Amerindian Hostel.
On March 9, children had their pre-operation (Pre-Op) visit with Dr. Doron Ringler, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon from New York, who performed the surgeries and was assisted by Dr. Rajkumar, a local Plastic Surgeon. Over the next three (3) days, seven (7) of the eight children had surgery. Unfortunately the eighth child was sent home because she had surgery previously at the Georgetown Hospital and will need to return in August for additional surgery. Most children were released from the hospital the day after their surgery. However, two (2) children had Post-Op infections and one (1) had to have a blood transfusion, which is why their stay was a little longer. All the surgeries were successful.
On March 22, 2018 the children had their Post-Op appointment with Dr. Rajkumar, and Sharir accompanied them back to Charity where they boarded the boats to their homes in the Upper Pomeroon and the Moruca areas.
CanGO is indebted to the many stakeholders who came together to make these life-changing surgeries possible:
·Dr. Doron Ringler and Dr. John Mitchell of H.E.R.O. and Dr. Rajkumar, the local Plastic Surgeon, for fitting the children’s operations into their very busy surgical schedule.
·Mr. Conrad Joseph of CanGO and Mr. Sharir Chan of GMR who made all the arrangements for the children to have this life-changing operation.
·Dr. Clare Mitchell, Medical Director of CanGO, who continues to be very passionate about taking care of all children, especially those with special needs.
·Ms Yvonne Triesman, Presdent of CanGO, whose tireless coordination, communication and attention to detail, led to a successful collaboration between diverse groups.
·The many Guyana government agencies: Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Regional Heath Officer for Region 1 (Dr. Cerdel McWatt) and the Chairman of Region 2 (Mr. Ramdatt).
In the Fall of 2018 the CanGO team plans to return to regions 1 and 2 to provide developmental and therapeutic follow-up for the children who received surgery.
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