Lady Allen commends work of Chain of Hope

(JIS) — Wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Most Hon Lady Allen, has commended the charity organisation, Chain of Hope Jamaica, for outstanding work in providing for the needs of children.

Chain of Hope, founded in 2007, is a charity aimed at providing assistance to create a self-sustained paediatric cardiac programme.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, at a luncheon with members of the fundraising committee at King’s House on Tuesday April 5, Lady Allen said the paediatric cardiac programme is significant for some 250 patients awaiting cardiac surgery.

“We’re hoping that through Chain of Hope we will be able to build a new operating theatre… and have it fully furnished, in terms of operating suites and an intensive care area…so we will be able to have a better turn-around time,” she said.

She bemoaned the fact that “our nation’s children are dying” because of inadequate facilities to treat them, and persons are on the waiting list for up to five years due to the unavailability of beds.

The organisation is seeking to raise funds to build and equip a new cardiac centre at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, with vitally needed equipment and a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and cardiac catheter lab, both of which will cater to the needs of children of Jamaica and nearby islands.

Co-ordinator of Chain of Hope Jamaica, Lisa D’Oyen, said that over 150 children have been operated on at the hospital, through the organisation. She said that Chain of Hope United Kingdom has been visiting the island since 1996.

“The local team does surgeries on a regular basis, and when the mission comes, that is a bonus so we can get a lot of surgery done in a short time,” she said.

Ms. D’Oyen said that a fundraiser was held in November, which the charity would like to make into an annual event.

“We want everybody to be aware of our plans, get on board and help with the fundraising, so that we can give our children the surgery they need,” she said.

Chain of Hope is a United Kingdom based not-for-profit organisation that seeks to perform critical cardiac surgery free of charge. Since its inception in 1996, it has been sending volunteer medical teams to Jamaica to treat children suffering from life- threatening heart diseases.

Hundreds of children around the world have also received open-heart surgery through Chain of Hope, and countless more have benefited from early diagnosis and medication. Surgeons and medical teams donate their time and skills free of charge.