WPP beneficiaries tell touching stories
There was hardly a dry eye to be found in the audience last Friday, as beneficiaries gave testimonies about how their lives had been touched by the life saving work of the of the World Pediatric Project (WPP).
During a ceremony to officially open a WPP dedicated US$ 1 million operating theatre at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, many audience members, including Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and chief executive officer of the WPP Susan Rickman were observed wiping away tears, as parents and children shared their experiences.
Kathleen Adams, mother of Shelisa Adams, the first Vincentian to benefit from the WPP, explained that her daughter was born with a defect and it was not until she met with Rickman through the Rotary Club that she was able to get the help her daughter needed.
Adams said that it has been 15 years since her daughter received the life saving surgery and, at 17, she will write her CSEC examination in May. The grateful mother said as a poor woman she may not be able to gift Rickman anything to repay her, but instead gifted her the blessings of God and the love of her daughter, herself and her family.
âWe thank you very much and continue to do your good work, so that all children in St Vincent can be healthy and strongâ¦.â
Eslyn Thomas said that her two-year-old daughter developed a tumour at the age of two months and remained undiagnosed until she was referred to the WPP by her pediatrician.
âBecause of the nature of her tumour it would have been too risky to have that surgery done here,â Thomas explained.
She said after travelling to Virginia, her daughter had a biopsy done and was diagnosed with infantile fibrosarcoma, which is rare form of cancer. However, by the time her daughter was diagnosed, the cancer had spread and her daughterâs arm had to be amputated.
âBut today Iâm grateful. She lost that arm, but we gained a beautiful child who is full of potential and she has a very bright future ahead of her,â Thomas said.
Bless Arthur, another beneficiary of the WPP stated that at the age of 14 she has already had five surgeries, with the last being September 2016, along with various tests and many examinations.
âThough important and useful at times, they reduce me to tears and cause me to think why me,â the petite student of the St Josephâs Convent Kingstown said.
However, Arthur said that she has navigated through the unpleasantness and is now a big girl who is better, stronger and beautiful because of the persons who care and love her. She thanked her doctors, the Mustique Charitable Trust, her mother, father and aunt.(CM)