Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Repairing a Broken Heart …..What a Gift: Aaron Pratt’s story

Aaron Pratt is a 9 year old, heart patient. He had heart surgery 6 months after he was born. His grandmother originally noticed that he was having difficulty breathing. Subsequently he was taken to a private doctor for care. Ms. Brown, Aaron’s mother, was told that Aaron appeared to have a heart condition and to prepare to have Aaron admitted to PMH. The doctor also referred Aaron’s case to Dr. Jerome Lightbourne, pediatric cardiologist at PMH. Dr. Lightbourne later told Ms. Brown that Aaron had septal defects; holes in his heart and needed urgent surgery. In fact, Aaron had holes in the upper and lower chambers of his heart; He had both ASD and VSD i.e. atrial and ventricular septal defect. Because of Aaron’s small size he had to be given medication to help him grow before he could have a surgery. Additionally the surgery could not be done locally. So, he would have to have it done abroad. Despite the fact that Ms. Brown was working, she could not afford heart care for Aaron and he was not insured. She needed assistance and trusted The Almighty God to lead the way. Dr. Lightbourne referred Ms. Brown to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation to obtain support and assistance with Aaron’s surgeries. As such, once Aaron had gained sufficient weight, Ms. Brown took Aaron to Jackson Memorial Hospital. On October 4, 2002, via a lapping and patching method, the septal defects were corrected via open heart surgery. Thanks to the kindness of and arrangements made by The Heart Foundation, Ms. Brown also had somewhere to stay, as she awaited the outcome of her baby’s surgery. At present Aaron is a 3rd grader preparing to write his GLAT exams. He enjoys baseball, yet must be careful due to his heart condition. His mother is a very grateful mother and grandmother who encourages the public to help other children who needs heart care. Ms. Brown says:

“The Heart Foundation assisted. I am very grateful because I did not know where to turn. I am grateful to people for putting up funds, who would not run me down for funds or ask me for any thing back”.

The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps to repair the heart of persons in The Bahamas, primarily children. They depend heavily on the generosity of others to repair the hearts of persons, who cannot ordinarily afford heart care. Over 97 % of all funds raised go directly to heart care. At present there are 11 children awaiting heart surgeries, who are depending on The Heart Foundation to raise funds to assist them. As it is only the start of the year, it is anticipated that many more children will need heart care throughout the year and some may need more urgent care.

As the fund raising arm of The Heart Foundation, The Heart Ball Committee hosts two major fund raisers annually: The Annual Heart Ball and The Annual Tea Party & Fashion Show. Additionally the public is encouraged to make donations, purchase ads in The Heart Ball’s booklet, sponsor events and possibly assist in other ways.

The Annual Heart Ball is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at Sheraton Nassau. Tickets for regular seating is $250 per person. Highlights of the evening include: the presentation of the Lady Sassoon Golden Heart Award, an in-house raffle, table prizes and an in-house auction. Additionally, there will be live performances by the SG Band, The Ed Brice Orchestra, and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Dance Band.

To purchase tickets or find out how you can assist, please call 327-0806 thru 10.