Barbados has recorded its third successful living-donor kidney transplant operation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the past nine months, with the support of international charity Transplant Links Community and sponsor Republic Bank.
The announcement of the successful surgery in which a young woman received a kidney donated by her mother, was made by consultant surgeon Dr Margaret O’Shea, who noted that end-stage was an increasing problem here, and she encouraged Barbadians to volunteer as kidney donors.
“We want the Barbadian public to know that transplantation is a safe option and the best option. The first surgeries were conducted last November, and…they were successful – one a young man, and now just this week, a young woman with a transplant from her mother,” she said at a press conference at the QEH.
Commending Dr O’Shea and the surgical team at the QEH, chief executive officer of Transplant Links Community, Dr Jennie Jewitt-Harris, expressed appreciation on behalf of the recent transplant recipient, noting that the young lady said “she feels like her whole body has come alive again”.
“You are an amazing transplant team. As I said, we have worked all over the world and never before have we seen such professionalism, commitment, skill and organization as we’ve seen here. It’s been an absolute joy to work with this team and I highly recommend them,” Dr Harris said.
She also expressed sincere thanks to Republic Bank for its support.
“Republic Bank has actually been a sponsor of Transplant Links for some time in Trinidad, and has joined us in this project. They have actually been joined this year by the Elegant hotel chain and also the Barbados Community Foundation; and without this kind of help with travel and accommodation this would not be possible,” Dr Harris said.
Republic Bank’s Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Debbie Stoute, said this year marked the second year of Republic Bank’s support for Transplant Links under the bank’s Power to Make a Difference programme.
“This is our opportunity, and an opportunity for so many other entities in Barbados, to contribute to something that is meaningful, something that makes a difference, just as our programme is called the Power to Make a Difference. We all have that power to assist, whether it is through donorship of a kidney from one family member to another, or, as we do, contributing financially to the growth and the scope of this programme which is to help as many people as possible,” Stoute said.
“There are some 300 people under care for renal failure at the QEH, who are perhaps capable of benefitting from transplantation. This really for us is not about money, but about making a difference in the society that we live in and about building a strong, capable and productive society.”
Power to Make a Difference is Republic Bank’s corporate social responsibility programme, established to encourage positive societal change, and encompassing four pillars including: The Power to Care, The Power to Help, The Power to Learn and The Power to Succeed.
The Transplant Links Community charity is comprised of British medical professionals who share their practical skills and experience in renal medicine and transplantation in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, providing medical and surgical support and assistance to build the capacity of medical practitioners in these regions. The aim of the TLC project in Barbados is the development of a sustainable national living-donor kidney transplant programme to serve children and adults with kidney failure.