Dr. Patrick Martin disclosed that initial estimates for the required overseas care ranged from USD 15, 000 for surgery only, to USD 80, 000 minimum, for surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
But the Chief Medical Officer also revealed that fortunately, a hospital in the USA has agreed to provide the initial medical care at minimal charge. “What happens thereafter depends on the initial evaluation and treatment. If the tumour is malignant, G’Neika will need radiation therapy and chemotherapy for an extended period,” said Dr. Martin.
He also indicated that there has been an outpouring of generosity by individuals and organizations, in the Federation and abroad. The first goal of raising USD $15,000 for G’Neika has been achieved, said Dr. Martin.
Persons have made donations to the PALS/Pedifund at Scotiabank in two ways:
- specifically for G’Neika’s care
- and to the general pool because of the expectation at that time that cost of care would have been astronomical.
Martin also stated that some of the funds donated specifically for G’Neika have been and are being used to defray travel-related expenses such the MRI study done in Antigua, to Barbados for a US visa, and shortly, for travel to the USA for evaluation and treatment. Any remaining funds will kept in reserve for future expenses. The duration of care may extend to 8 years.
The Pediatric Assistance League (PALS), the Department of Social Services, JNF Pediatrics, and the Ministry of Health are collaborating to assist G’Neika and her family, said the Chief Medical Officer.
The Pedifund is managed by PALS – a private pediatric foundation established in the early 1990s. Further donations to the Pedifund will be channeled to the general pool to be used to cover G’Neika’s future expenses, and expenses of other children. The Federation records an average of five children per year needing complex medical tests and treatment overseas.
PALS is committed to assisting these children and their families. PALS funds are managed with complete transparency and accountability assured Martin. Further information about the mission of PALS and how to donate will be provided at a later date, promised Dr. Martin.
Government, through the Department of Social Services, also provides some financial assistance to eligible persons. Such monies are paid directly to the supplier(s) of services upon receipt of invoices. Monies are not given to patients or family. G’Neika’s family has filed an application for State assistance. However, PALS/Pedifund monies will be used first, indicated the doctor.
Contributions can be made directly to the family; such monies are controlled by the family only.
G’Neika and her mother are expected to travel to the USA this weekend. Heartfelt appreciation is extended to all donors and well-wishers for their support, said Dr. Martin.