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School assists pupil in raising funds for corneal transplant

School assists pupil in raising funds for corneal transplant

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It was while Shellene Ryan Phillips was a Grade One pupil of Stubbs Government School that it became apparent that something was not quite right with her vision.

An unusual white spot appeared on the cornea of her left eye, obscuring vision in that eye.{{more}}

Shellene’s mother, Shelly-Ann Ryan, was immediately informed of the problem by class teacher, Flavia Gilbert-Frederick. Ryan sought professional help at the Stubbs Health Centre (now Stubbs Polyclinic). Shellene was referred to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where a diagnosis was made, after which the wearing of spectacles was prescribed. However, the problem persisted.

It was during a visit of The World Pediatric Project of Richmond, Virginia, USA to SVG that a corneal transplant was recommended by specialists on that team. This meant that the necessary funds had to be raised for such an operation.

Headteacher Erline James and staff of the school, strongly believing that charity begins at home, launched an appeal fund in the form of a sponsored walk on March 14, 2015. Letters were sent to individuals and groups appealing for financial assistance. Teachers and students of the school also made monetary contributions. These efforts resulted in the grand sum of $3,307.93.

“We say thanks to God for providing us the opportunity to be of assistance in a tangible way to a fellow student. Kudos also to The World Pediatric Project of Richmond, Virginia, US, Dr Bharati Datta, Mrs Jacqueline Browne King, students, teachers, parents, the SVG Mission of Seventh-Day Adventists and all others who have contributed financially,” a release from the school said.

Shellene, presently a Grade Six student, is expected to leave the state for Richmond, Virginia, today, Friday, June 12. She will be accompanied by her father, Brenton Phillips.

The school joins together in wishing Shellene a successful operation.

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