by Leigh-Ann Worrell
It could be another 10 weeks before eight-year-old Keana Banfield and family will know when she can return home.
However, the family is optimistic of a full recovery.
“Unofficial spokesperson” for the family, Racquel Jordan, told the media that the Christ Church Girls’ student was in “great spirits” yesterday during a chat on the phone from Miami.
“We were speaking with her and her mum yesterday and as you would appreciate, she had two major surgeries. It is very tough on her right now, but we visualise that Keana will make a full recovery,” she said. “…[Keana] had eaten roti and curry and was in great spirits. But she remains in intensive care and her struggle continues.”
She was speaking after the Water Street, Christ Church school’s intercessory service for Banfield this morning. During the service, prayers were offered for Banfield, her parents and their finances. Over the Easter holiday the eight-year-old fell seriously ill and had to be airlifted to a Miami hospital seeking medical attention. She was diagnosed with staphylococcus and Acute Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Jordan added that her cousin was aware of the programme at the school today and thanked the school’s staff and students, along with the several corporate entities which came forward to help with Banfield’s mounting expenses.
“We have two surgeries under our belt we are looking to have a fairly big bill … [and] we are hoping to have final figures by Monday. Because Keana remains in critical condition, the doctors cannot give us a definite figure.”
“Significant amounts” had been paid thus far, and people are continuing to contact the family via Facebook with ideas for fund-raising initiatives. Others have been starting their own projects to lend aid to the family in a time of need.
“I must admit they have all been honest … and came forward to make those deposits,” Jordan stated.
The family is also being assisted by the Variety Club and the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, which is helping with organising and directing funds to the Jackson Memorial Hospital where Banfield is receiving treatment.
“We have no experience in transferring money to hospitals and paying this and paying that. We have no idea what hidden costs are … that we would not factor in. Sandy Lane charitable trust has put us in contact with another organisation to work with which will help us calculate hidden costs,” Jordan explained.
Upcoming events for the cause include a concert to be planned by the school and another organised by the family committee scheduled for the end of May. Additionally, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association has promised to take a collection for Banfield’s expenses at its Pantastic event on May 19.
With purple decorations across the auditorium, the school’s two-hour service featured songs, dance and prayers for the young girl from members of staff and students. Variety Club volunteers also collected a love offering for the family. But perhaps one of the most touching parts of the programme was the Tribute to Keana from Class 1S. Classmates described their friend as one with “artistic ability”, “creative”, “very good at art” and someone who was willing to share “her snacks and more”.
In a vote of thanks from the family, Jordan told the school assembly that the “out-pouring of love and care for Keana from Barbados and outside our shores has restored our belief and faith in the goodness of mankind”, adding the family was “overcome with gratitude and embraces your love and prayers”. [email protected]