July 31, 2015
WPP sends two Vincentian children to US for eye surgery

Thanks to the World Paediatric Project (WPP), two more young Vincentians are off to the United States, where they will receive corrective eye surgery.

Seven-year-old Jahvante Hamilton and Tito Charles, 5, left the state yesterday for the Virginia Commonwealth University {{more}}hospital in Richmond, where doctors will remove cataracts from their eyes and give them an opportunity to live healthier, more normal lives.

Prior to leaving, Tashica Hamilton, Jahvante’s mother, lamented that her son, a grade two pupil of the Brighton Methodist School, would often be affected by bright lights and could not see properly in class.

“It was difficult for him to look at the blackboard, or even watch TV. He would complain of headaches and his eyes would water a lot,” Hamilton disclosed.

“I was told of Sister [Jacqueline] King and the WPP by another doctor, who realized that he had a cataract and said she would see if she could get him on the list,” the Enhams resident said.

Sister Jacqueline Browne-King, the Eastern Caribbean regional representative of the WPP, deemed Jahvante eligible for treatment overseas and now he is on his way to what everyone hopes will be a bright future.

“I am happy that the WPP is around, because I did not know where to turn to for help with Jahvante. He is excited and I am very thankful for the assistance, because I don’t think I would be able to take him for treatment if I had to do this on my own.

“Hopefully when this is over he would be able to live a more normal life,” Tashica said.

Expressing similar sentiments is Cheryl-Ann Peters, who would be accompanying her grandson Tito Charles on the three-month trip. Peters would be going in place of Tito’s mother, Ophelia, who is not able to travel.

The grandmother is hopeful that corrective surgical procedure would make life easier for Tito, a pupil of the Kingstown Government School.

“It’s hard for him to see where he is going. He has to sit right up under the TV to see properly and sometimes he would walk into the sliding door,” the Old Montrose resident lamented.

“Someone told us about the WPP and we came to them, because we had no money to do it on our own and because of them and others who helped us, Tito is going to get the help he needs.

“Now I’m feeling very happy because he is young and it’s not easy to be unable to see well.”

Hamilton and Peters are two of four patients from the region who have travelled to the WCU for eye care treatment. One other Vincentian and a St Lucian child have already travelled to the WCU for surgery and are currently recuperating.

The WPP is a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides health care for critically ill young persons in developing countries around the world.

The WPP, in partnership with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, has been assisting families here for more than a decade and has also assisted hundreds of other children to travel overseas for treatment.