The Mustique Charitable Foundation is dedicated to helping those who are in need in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This year we are funding:
- 240 vocational scholarships at the St. Vincent and Grenadines Community College and four Technical Institutes including 92 for at-risk youth in an innovative summer program held at SVG Community College.
- 7 surgical teams (urology, general surgery, ophthalmology, neurosurgery, cardiology, and two orthopedic) providing diagnoses/surgeries for more than 350 Vincentian children;
- the purchase of 4,000 books for 13 primary schools and 5 secondary schools reaching some 5,500 students; remedial reading kits in 5 high schools; and
- literacy teachers who cover close to 90 schools and reach some 19,300 students.
Beyond the statistics, there is story after story of a child who can rise out of a wheelchair and lead a normal, happy childhood after a life-changing operation, a young starting reader where the doors of literacy have been opened and the light of opportunity begins to shine in, a jobless and dispirited youth given the opportunity to learn a skill and feel the vital surge of pride in accomplishment so necessary for a productive life. These stories are worth repeating.
MCF is extending its reach and broadening its impact in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The map below shows MCF’s points of impact.
The map is interactive so to see individual activities please click on the icon.
Press Article in Searchlight – October 18, 2019
THIRTY-FOUR teachers who have successfully completed Bachelor Degrees in the teaching of Mathematics and Language Arts along with the representatives from the Mustique Charitable Foundation and SVGCC.
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, will host its graduation ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, October 19. On the list of graduands will be the names of 34 teachers from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who have successfully completed their Bachelor of Education Degree in The Teaching of Mathematics and The Teaching of Language Arts at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC). Forty-five teachers began these franchised programmes from the University in September 2016 and 42 wrote the final examination in May 2019.
Thirty-four teachers successfully completing their programme in the specified time; six of them received First Class Honours (Teaching of Mathematics), 25 Upper Second Class Honours, and three, Lower Second Class Honours degrees.
The SVGCC will continue to offer the franchised degree programmes from the University of the West Indies. This academic year, 52 teachers are pursuing studies in the three-year part-time Bachelor of Education Special Needs Education programme.
The SVGCC is also offering a Masters of Education programme in collaboration with the School of Education at the UWI Cave Hill Campus in three options: namely, Educational Leadership, School Counselling, and Language and Literacy. The current cohort of 33 teachers will conclude their studies in July 2020.
A new cohort will be accepted in September 2020. Meanwhile, the Mustique Charitable Foundation (MCF) has once again partnered with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) to provide assistance through partial scholarships to its students. On October 3, 2019, 25 students from the Division of Teacher Education (DTE) received partial scholarships totalling US$38,564 from the MCF. This represents approximately 80 percent of the students’ costs for the academic year, including Registration fees, University of the West Indies Examination fees, travel and food expenses. The excited students are all pre-service teacher trainees and so have no reliable source of income for the period of study while pursuing their Teacher Training. In particular, in the second semester when they proceed on the 10-week teaching practicum, this creates a particular strain on the students who will need to prepare all of their teaching aids for the classroom. This year marks the third year that the Foundation is assisting the teacher trainees.
Present at the hand-over were Dularie Malcolm, Administration Director of the MCF and the MCF’s Administration Assistant Sheena Child. The MCF is a charitable organisation that was incorporated in 2008 and has been assisting Vincentians since 2016. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the Mustique Charitable Foundation, and thanks the Foundation for its very generous donation to these deserving trainees.
Here are some of the wonderful thank you cards we received from students of the schools we support with this fantastic project. With your support we are able to ensure these students have access to a huge number of books and learning materials.
The Mustique Charitable Foundation funds the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College DTVE Youth Employability Skills Summer program. The program runs for 7 weeks and covers 4 applied vocational skills courses: garment production, basic electrical installation, bar operation and service, vehicle engine systems, soft skills and human relations, and basic record keeping, costing and estimation.
There are 92 students enrolled in the program this year. Representing MCF at the July 11th opening ceremony were MCF Chairman Roger Pritchard, Project Director Dularie Malcolm, and Sheena Child.
Sunday June 8 was a very busy clinic day for the WPP neurosurgery team, a total of 58 patients were seen for diagnostic evaluations or follow-up from previous surgeries, many of whom were from St. Vincent.
We are proud to introduce the Graduates from St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, 2019. All recipients of the Mustique Charitable Foundation scholarships.
Congratulations to Diondre Sampson, the top performer in the Certificate in Automotive Repairs Technology Program, and Daniel Bess, the top performer in the Associate Degree in Culinary Arts program.
We are proud to announce that thirty-six students have successfully graduated from Barrouallie Technical Institute (BARTECH). The students received certificates in Data Operations, Commercial Food Preparation, Food and Drink Services, and Garment Production. With your generous donations, we were able to provide 20 scholarships.
BARTECH's mission is to provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, skills and training necessary to excel in their fields in any country.
The awards presentation ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at the Barrouallie Learning Resource Centre under the motto: “Training Hands and Minds, Maximizing Potentials.”
Dularie Malcolm of the Mustique Charitable Foundation (centre) with some of the female graduates.
Dularie Malcolm and Pearlette Primus-Hannaway
Pearlette Primus-Hannaway, principal of BARTECH told the participants that their enrollment and completion of their respective courses showed their determination to improve their standards of living and to make a meaningful contribution to the development of their families and the country. She urged the graduands to continue upgrading themselves and that level 1 is only the beginning.
World Pediatric Project Opthamology Team
Dr. Donna Brown, Virginia Eye Institute
Dr. Donna Brown of Virginia Eye Institute and her team returned to St. Vincent for the 17th annual World Pediatric Project pediatric ophthalmology mission to its partner hospital Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. The ophthalmology team traveled February 9-16, 2019 and consisted of Dr. Brown, anesthesiologist Dr. Marvin Shapiro, OR nurse Lisa Sizemore and CRNA Mary O’Hanley. Dr. Brown has been providing medical services in the region for over 20 years and continues to strengthen relationships in the region, helping WPP to provide the best quality of care.
Over the years Dr. Brown has built strong working relationships with local ophthalmologists Dr. Cherrise Grant-Ledger and Dr. Orly Adams in St. Vincent, who triage and present appropriate cases for the mission week and with whom she works to provide follow up care the remainder of the year. Dr. Brown also collaborates closely with the local team throughout the surgical week, including WPP’s E.C. Medical Director Dr. Bea Datta.
50 consultations – 49 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines
21 surgeries completed
Most common conditions treated: strabismus, ptosis, congenital cataracts
Future, Isis, Micah
An entire family of children, 4 year old Future (left), 3 year old Isis (center), and 1 year old Micah (right) have received services through Dr. Brown’s annual eye team. All three children were born with congenital cataracts, which can run in families. Both Isis and Future had to travel to Richmond, VA to receive cataract surgery with Dr. Donna Brown at Virginia Eye Institute.
This year, thanks to the addition of a specialized microscope, brother and sister plus the new addition to the family stayed in the comfort of their home-island for further follow-up treatment. Micah, the youngest sibling, received cataract surgery during the week without the time and expense of traveling to the US for surgery.
Khaliya – 18 months old
You would never know Khaliya had congenital strabismus, she is very lively at 18 months old. If not treated, over time her strabismus would severely hinder her vision and she would need to wear heavy glasses.
We're happy to say that she underwent surgery and is doing quite well, mom is overjoyed with the outcome of her surgery.
Preston – 5 years old
Preston Jr. is a 5 year old Vincentian boy whose mom happens to be a recovery room nurse at Milton Cato Hospital. He was sitting in the recovery room waiting for her, when Dr. Brown noticed him and was told he had previously had an accident where he poked himself in the eye.
Dr. Brown evaluated him and noted a corneal laceration which she and the WPP team could repair on the next day’s surgery schedule. After a short period of healing, he will be fully back to normal vision
World Pediatric Project Orthopedics Surgical Team
In partnership with Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Dr. Eric Gordon from St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital returned this year with his committed team of medical professionals. While Dr. Gordon has been travelling to St. Vincent every other April, he added this September team a few years ago to catch up with the backlog of patients needing orthopedic intervention. Dr. Gordon brought with him a team of four medical professionals and an instrumentation representative from OrthoPediatrics.
56 children and their families attended the clinic on Sunday. The team had 133 consults, and 17 procedures were completed during the week. The majority of the children came from St. Vincent and the Grenadines with others coming from Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia. Many of the children had received surgery the previous year or this past April and were back for their follow-up visits with the orthopedic team.
The Orthopedic Surgical Team (from left to right)
- Anne Koncki - Director of Volunteers, World Pediatric Project
- Jacob Rowe - Instrumentation Representative OrthoPediatrics
- Dr. Craig Smith - Orthopedic Surgery Fellow, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
- Dr. Robert Moore - Anesthesiologist, St. Louis Children’s/Shriners Hospital
- Melissa Eagan - Orthopedic Nurse, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
- Dr. Eric Gordon - Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, St. Louis Children’s/Shriners Hospital
- Kim Cordia - Recovery Nurse, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
1 year old Ciel
Ciel is a sweet little one-year old girl who came to her first clinic.
Medical Condition and Procedure - Ciel has internal tibial torsion or more commonly known as intoeing or “pigeon-toed.” The recommendation was deep foot massage, and Ciel’s condition is gradually improving. She was discharged from this clinic with no further follow-up needed.
Reenique approaches all activities in a helpful manner. In school, she does everything from tying kids’ shoes to cleaning up after them. When she graduated from preschool, she won the award for Most Helpful Student. Learning this was no surprise after seeing Reenique spend the morning of her own surgery entertaining other kids. Despite her eyes welling up with tears upon learning it was time to undergo surgery for her Blount’s Disease with Dr. Gordon’s orthopedic team, Reenique displayed great strength after the procedure. Her work-hard attitude came in handy during physical therapy, and she left the hospital with a smile, ready to return to school and continue helping others.
Medical Condition and Procedure - Reenique has Blount’s disease, and she had procedures to address the severe bowing of her legs on this trip. She will follow up with the team on the next visit.
6 year old Akeeran
Akeeran is a handsome six-year-old young boy who has challenges walking due to his medical condition.
Medical Condition and Procedure - Akeeron has a club foot which means the foot is twisted out of shape from its normal position. The patient had heel cord lengthening which is a minimally invasive approach to lengthen his Achilles tendon. He will have a follow-up visit with the team within the next six months.
14 year-old Kareem
is an intense young man who was having some pain in his foot when at home and school.
Medical Condition and Procedure - Fourteen-year-old Kareem came to the clinic for an evaluation of a foot deformity. He had mild pain when walking long distances and standing all day. His problem was worse when he wore sandals. The recommendation was to wear a supportive shoe and inserts as needed. Kareem should come back to the next clinic.
18 year-old Martin
at 18 years of age is one of the older patients who comes to the clinic.
Medical Condition and Procedure - Martin has sickle cell anemia which is an inherited form of anemia – a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body. He was already a patient on the ward with a sickle cell crisis, and he was having hip pain. The recommendation is hip abduction which is the movement of the leg away from the midline of the body, and to refer Martin to the US next year for possible surgery.
19 year-old Madonna
is a beautiful girl who has been embarrassed by the way she walks because of her club foot.
Medical Condition and Procedure - Madonna had an external fixator placed by the April 2018 orthopedic surgery team to correct her club foot on the right side, and this surgery in September was to remove the fixator after five months of correction. This visit was the necessary follow-up. Physical therapy worked with her to help with mobility after the fixator was removed.
On Thursday 11th October, 2018, the Handing Over Ceremony of the Library resources from Hands Across the Sea (Hands) was held at the Conference Room of the Curriculum Unit of the Ministry of Education.
Hands, in collaboration with Mustique Charitable Foundation and Bank of Nova Scotia, was able to acquire 18,872 books and 8 Remedial Reading Kits which will be distributed subsequently.
30 schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will benefit from the distribution of the books with 20 Primary Schools and 2 Secondary Schools receiving books and 8 Secondary Schools receiving remedial reading kits, an increase from the 5 kits distributed in prior year.
There was a very colorful and well-arranged display of some of the books at the venue which showcased books relevant and relatable to Caribbean students.
Brief remarks were made by Enna Bullock (Hands-Literacy Link), Yvette Pompey (Hands-Literacy Link), Deborah Charles (Parliamentary Secretary-Ministry of Education) and Elizabeth Walker (Deputy Chief Education Officer), who all conveyed thanks to Mustique Charitable Foundation and Bank of Nova Scotia.
A very creative and interactive Choral Speaking accompanied by a drummer was performed by students of the CW Prescod Primary School which depicted their gratitude and excitement for receiving Hands books.
Several speakers conveyed theirs thanks to Lavinia Gunn for her tremendous contribution to Literacy over the last decade.
Deborah Charles said that she was very pleased to see books of different learning levels and was extremely pleased to see books targeting boys which would encourage the boys to read.
Kathleen Joyles, principal of Marriaqua Government School and a previous recipient of Hands books, did a reflection of the impact of Hands books. She advised that parents were also coming to the Library to read the books, so much so that she created a section in the Library for parents.
Subsequently, parents were coming to the classroom to demonstrate their reading skills, becoming more interactive in their children’s learning and also now more equipped to help their children. Hence it can be said that the books not only impacted positively on the students but also on the entire family and the community as a whole.
Electrical Installation & Maintenance: 23 trainees
Certificates Presentation for the Youth Employability Program and Associate Degree Awards Presentation for 2018-2019 Bursaries
The Youth Employability Program had 94 young participants in four skill areas:
- Introductory Plumbing - 22 trainees
- Refrigeration & AC Repairs & Maintenance - 22 trainees
- Electrical Installation & Maintenance - 23 trainees
- Commercial Food Preparation - 27 trainees
Refrigeration & AC Repairs & Maintenance: 22 trainees
Commercial Food Preparation: 27 trainees
Introductory Plumbing: 22 trainees
Opening remarks were made by Janelle Allen, Deputy Dean of DTVE, who thanked the Mustique Charitable Foundation for its continued contribution to the DTVE.
Osborne Bowens, Dean of DTVE, also commended the Mustique Charitable Foundation for its collaboration with DTVE to bring the Youth Employability Program to fruition. Mr. Bowens, the initiator of this program, highlighted the importance of technically trained professionals and the part they play in the development of our society and our country as a whole.
Hon St. Clair Prince, Minister of Education, made brief remarks thanking the Foundation.
77 participants got certificates of successful completion, 16 participants got certificates of participation and 1 participant was unable to complete the course.
There was a sense of pride and accomplishment from the graduates of the Youth Employability program and Mr. Bowens indicated that 3 students who participated in Commercial Food Preparation were employed subsequent to the training.
Participants in the Youth Employability Program were also very grateful and excited about receiving their individual starter kits which are intended to assist them in their field of expertise. It can be said that the Youth Employability Program with a pass rate of 82% was a success and a viable venture on the part of the Mustique Charitable Foundation.
Following the Certificate Presentation, 11 Associate Degree Scholarships for academic year 2018-2019 were disbursed to qualified recipients who were identified by SVGCC-DTVE in the following programs:
- Hospitality Studies – 3
- Culinary Arts – 3
- Electrical Engineering Technology – 2
- Agricultural Science & Entrepreneurship – 1
- Information and Communication Technology – 1
- Office Administration – 1
From 2017 – 2018, together with the World Pediatric Project, we reached 159 Vincentian children as follows:
General surgery diagnostics for 40 and surgeries for 8
Urology diagnostics for 36 and surgeries for 6
Orthopedic diagnostics for 83 and surgeries for 19
World Pediatric Project Orthopedics Surgical Team
- 83 children in St Vincent received diagnostic evaluations
- 19 children in St Vincent received surgeries
8 year old Jadiel
has a congenital hip and leg length discrepancy and had hip surgery last year to implant plates to reinforce the viability of his hip function. This year the WPP team removed these plates to further strengthen the hip and prepare for the next stage of surgery to correct his leg length issue. Jadiel will travel to St. Louis next year for the first of two surgeries with the final surgery likely occurring in 2020.
2 1/2 year old Cregg
was born with severe Blounts disease, a condition often referred to as "bow legged". Because of WPP's consistency of sending orthopedic diagnostic and surgery teams to St. Vincent, Cregg's parents sought help when he was just a little more than a year old, the ideal time to begin monitoring and intervention. Plates were surgically implanted this year to progressively correct this bone deformity. This is a significantly less invasive, intensive and painful approach to the surgical correction technique which occurs when Blounts is untreated and allowed to progress to a severe status.
5 year old Hope
Now 5 years old, Hope's healing journey began with World Pediatric Project at just one week of age. Born with a congenital condition causing severe muscle and joint constriction, Hope's parents were originally told she would be confined to a wheelchair for life Yet, because of the consistency of WPP's orthopedic surgery mission to St. Vincent every year, Hope has received steady corrective care needed to support her growing mobility, including now walking and soon the ability to run. This year, Hope underwent a procedure to assist the movement and functionality of her right arm.
St. Vincent Children Receiving Surgery
Danielle, 5 years
Lia, 15 years
Sage, 6 years
Sherry-Ann, 18 years
Hailey, 3 1/2 years
Karen, 13 years
Aria, 13 years
Zhinga, 12 years
Jenny, 11 years
Madonna, 19 years
Jenissa, 13 years
Giovorny, 18 years
Julia, 8 years
Otalia, 2 years
Shay-Nece, 17 years
Prince, 13 years
World Pediatric Project General Surgery Team
General Surgery Team
- 40 children in St. Vincent received diagnostic evaluations
- 8 children in St. Vincent received surgeries
The team's week began with a very busy clinic day with 59 children and families who patiently waited for their opportunity to be evaluated by this WPP specialist team. Many of the children received surgery last year, and were back for their follow-up examination.
WPP prioritizes follow-up care as a vital component to the quality, comprehensive care approach so core to the WPP patient care philosophy.
This is the fifth year the WPP general surgery team from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, has traveled to Milton Cato Memorial Hospital to provide advanced pediatric diagnostic and surgical care to children of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Lead surgeon, Dr John Lukish, together with a team of seven support personnel, treated children with a wide spectrum of medical conditions.
Hailey, 10 months
is a beautiful bouncing baby girl, but would have "nothing of" Dr. Lukish attempting to examine her until a little extra coaxing by her mom!
Medical procedure - successful excision of cyst and follow-up next January.
Dylon, 10 years
born with Down Syndrome and congenital heart disease. WPP first met him as a baby through a diagnostic cardiac clinic which led to his mother and him traveling to Richmond for open heart surgery when he was 3 years old. He loves to hug everyone, and will periodically break out into song and dance.
Medical procedure - received a laparoscopic ventral hernia repair.
Renaya, 3 years
was understandably frightened to be at the large clinic and to be closely evaluated by the WPP general surgery team. Renaya wouldn't speak or allow anyone to touch her unless her daddy was by her side. Her recovery was amazing and by the next day she was back to her old self.
Medical procedure - received disimpaction and anal dilation. Put on a maintenance regimen and follow-up next January.
Ameka, 8 years
was very quiet and bashful all day long during clinic and until her surgical procedure was completed. Then the WPP team saw the first smile!
Medical procedure - thyroid mass was removed via a right hemi thyroidectomy.
Brittney, 17 years
who came to the WPP with her entire extended family. It is obvious she is loved and adored! She looked very quiet but did express worry about how she looked (a normal teenager!). She also said she was anxious to get back to school.
Medical procedure - right intra muscular chest mass, which was excised. She needs no further care, just a follow-up next January.
Yannick, 20 years
with a long and steady history of receiving specialized medical care through WPP since falling from a mango tree 10 years ago which caused a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him below the waist. He has experienced multiple other associated conditions requiring medical care from five distinct pediatric sub-specialty teams totaling 34 visits with WPP surgical teams including general surgery, urology, plastics, reconstructive, neurosurgery and physical therapy.
World Pediatric Project - Pediatric Urology
Pediatric Urology Team
- 36 children in St. Vincent received diagnostic evaluations
- 6 children in St. Vincent received surgeries
- Undescended testicles
- Bladder stones
- Ectopic ureter
Dr. Doug Coplen, Pediatric Urology Surgeon
Jeanne Vogt, OR Nurse
Mary Campigotto, Nurse
Dr. Thomas Bohannon, Anesthesiologist
On Clinic day we were visited by a very special guest, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
The Mustique Charitable Foundation became active in 2016 and had seven projects in 2017:
- Funding close to 70 vocational scholarships at St. Vincent and the Grenadines Division of Technical and Vocational Education and the Division of Teacher’s Education, the Barrouallie Technical Institute, and Trinity Medical School
- Funding the Mustique Children in Need Fund for the 7 children whose parents perished in the tragedy at sea in the summer of 2016
- Funding at least three surgical teams to travel to St. Vincent to perform orthopedic, urologic, and general surgery on Vincentian children
- Funding the purchase of over 4,000 books for 11 primary schools in St. Vincent
Division of Technical and Vocational Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College
We have funded 33 partial scholarships covering 80% of tuition, course fees, travel & meal costs.
- Electrical Engineering Technology
- Information and Communication Technology
- Architecture and Building Construction Technology
- Business Studies: Accounting
- Business Studies: Sales and Marketing
- Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
- Office Administration
- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology
- Automotive Repairs Technology
- Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship
- Culinary Arts
- Hospitality Studies
Barouallie Technical Institute
Barouallie Technical Institute
We have funded 20 partial vocational scholarships at the Barouallie Technical Institute.
Liz Ann Pierre
Sue Zorne Davis
The Division of Teacher Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College
We have funded 10 partial vocational scholarships at The Division of Teacher Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.
The Division of Teacher Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College
Dean, Mrs. Harriette Da Silva
Medical Training Scholarships
We have funded 4 partial scholarships to Vincentian students at Trinity School of Medicine during their clerkships in the U.S.
The Mustique Children in Need Fund
The Mustique Children in Need Fund will be able to significantly help the 7 children whose parents perished in the recent tragedy at sea.
World Pediatric Project
Working with the World Pediatric Project to send at least 3 surgical teams to St. Vincent to perform urological, orthopedic and general diagnostic care and surgery on Vincentian children.
Hands Across the Sea
Cane End Government School
Park Hill Government School
Richland Park Government School
South Rivers Methodist Primary School
Shenika Samuel, Top Performer of the Business Studies: Accounting programme also received the DTVE Divisional Award for Excellence, graduating with the highest Grade Point Average in the Division. She also delivered the Valedictorian Address at the Graduation Ceremony, sharing her story as an inspiration to others to aspire to achieve in spite of life's challenging circumstances.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College held its 8th Annual Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday June 27th, 2017 under the theme "Dream, Achieve, Live!". Twenty of the 2016-2017 Mustique Charitable Foundation Scholarship recipients received Associate Degrees and Certificates having successfully completed their programmes of study.
The scholarship recipients performed commendably, with six of them emerging as Top Performers in their programmes:
Kevron Abraham - Architecture and Building Construction Technology
Alexey Gibson - Electrical Engineering Technology
Debra Dopwell - Information and Communication Technology
Maxwell Pompey - Business Studies: Sales and Marketing
Shenika Samuel - Business Studies: Accounting
Kaynella Nicholls - Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship
Also graduating were:
Kemelius Boyea Jr
The SVGCC: DTVE extends heartfelt thanks to the Mustique Charitable Foundation for partnering with the Division to provide such timely assistance in the form of partial scholarships to aid in these students' academic and personal success.
Walking Tall Surgical Team
Pediatric Scoliosis Surgery Mission Team
- 21 children receiving diagnostic evaluations (14 SVG, 5 St. Lucia, 2 Grenada)
- 9 surgeries ( 1 child, 8 teenagers)
- 3 SVG children received surgeries. (others anticipated for surgery in May did not due to school exams) These children will be prioritized for the next two missions.
Lynessa, 15 years
Jarussa, 18 years
Sue-nique, 12 years
Velanie, 14 years
Carlos, 6 years
Noel, 16 years
Kimesha, 17 years
Ronnie, 18 years
Drew-Ann, 16 years
Rollister, 16 years
Shennelia, 15 years
Jonique, 16 years
Roniqueka, 16 years
Andrea, 12 years
First Team in new WPP – Dedicated Operating Room
Of special note this year, is the debut use of the newly dedicated WPP Operating Theatre. The specialized orthopedic table, bright lights and other amenities made each surgery more comfortable for the team and efficienct.
A special high-tech “Jackson Table” designed specifically for spine surgeries allowing optimal positioning of the patient for surgery
Dr. Swartz checking the settings on the new anesthesiology machine
the Yag Laser will allow WPP ophthalmologists to perform congenital cataract surgeries
Dr. Steve Hwang
Pediatric Scoliosis Surgery Mission Team
“I was so pleased to have the honor of being the first surgeon to use the new World Pediatric Project Operating Theatre at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. The spacious OR and specialized equipment assured that our patients received the best care possible in a safe, professional environment.”
- Dr. Steve Hwang
Velanie, age 14 from Georgetown, SVG , has six brothers and loves to hang out with friends. She can’t wait to get better and walk with her friends to get French fries! She is feeling more confident than ever now with her surgery completed and has returned to school which makes her very, very happy.
"I can walk around now feeling happy that the problem is solved... I stand in front of the mirror and smile… After everything is over I'll stand in front of the mirror and say, it was all worth it ."
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Text message to WPP team leader after Velanie returned home.
15-year-old Shenniella from Richland Park, St. Vincent, was the last surgery for the week and 57th patient receiving spine repair surgery since WPP first began this surgery in-country 6 years ago.
She definitely won the sweetest smile award! Dr. Hwang, was amazed how brave she and all of the kids were.
For 12-year-old Sue-Nique from St. David, SVG, getting her surgery now was so important as she would soon be going through a growth spurt and her scoliosis could have gotten much, much worse over the next year.
She is oldest of four children in her family and loves to read.
She told the team she can’t wait to get back to playing her favorite sports of netball, soccer, basketball and volleyball!
Dr. Hwang with a grateful mom!
Parents of the children helped
Dr. Hwang greeting and reassuring patient prior to her surgery
Clinic evaluation observing patient’s spine when extended
checking the x-rays
The WPP team was welcomed for an evening reception at the Prime Minister’s home.
Medtronic representative Caitlyn Mabry prepares the needed hardware selection for a patient
Senior Program Director, Kate Corbett coordinated Walking Tall mission with Dr. Hwang and team and secured spine implant hardware contribution valued at $270k from Medtronic.
Dr. Hwang taught two continuing medical education (CME’s) sessions for local physicians and medical students.
Senior Program Director, Kate Corbett
6-year-old Carlos, who had spine implant surgery last fall, returned for a rod lengthening procedure.
The Mustique Charitable Foundation funded a World Pediatric Project scoiiosis/spinal repair team to St. Vincent in November 2016.
Scoliosis-specific team mobilization is rare given the complexity of this type of surgery and the costs associated with the necessary spine hardware implants, typically $50-$60k in cost per patient.
65 children received diagnostic evaluations
9 children scheduled for surgery with the most complex or those traveling the furthest being scheduled for the earliest surgery slots.
Children and their families came from throughout St. Vincent as well as from further distances in the region. They’ve been prepared in advance to bring their needed medical records and x-rays to allow the WPP team to work efficiently during clinic day.
Junelle was so happy when she learned World Pediatric Project’s spine repair team was scheduled to travel to St. Vincent and that she had been accepted for surgery. A slender 14-year-old teenager, Junelle’s severe 78-degree spine curvature was not only physically detrimental, but also socially devastating. For Junelle, this surgery meant the end of an era of being teased and ashamed that she did not look like everyone else.
While Junelle was all smiles the day she was admitted to MCMH, her mother felt the normal nervous emotions of family members prior to surgery. Her fears were relieved upon hearing the happy news of the successful surgery and her “baby girl” was doing great.
Junelle was upright and walking the next day, and her mother could not wait to have a photo of the fabulous doctors that took such good care of her cherished daughter.
18-year-old Delroy is charming, polite, and very brave. He arrived for clinic day and his probable surgery without any family accompanying him. Perhaps his older age also contributed to the many questions and fears he exhibited before his surgery day.
Being there without a parent, he clung to WPP Country Director, Jackie King as a mother figure to him during the week.
After his successful spine repair surgery, everyone, in- cluding family members of other patients, helped look after him.
He was exuberant with his gratitude and relief that the surgery was over and pain was manageable.
WPP Surgical Team
Chris Pinney, Medtronic Spine rep., explaining the spine system hardware to Lavinia Gunn & Simon Carey
Linda Harrier and mother looking at the VEPTR rod system that is in Carlos’ back
Linda Harrier with patient Carlos
The extreme spine curvature of a WPP patient, typical of the severity of scoliosis
The WPP's Walking Tall Project initiative addresses this condition for more than a dozen patients each year
Some of the beautiful children helped during the week