Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ru’Shon Fox’s successful heart surgery: the work continues for The Heart Ball Committee!

A child’s first trip on an airplane can be a very exciting time for them. Parents are also excited to take this journey with their children. It’s an opportunity to spend quality time with their children. Despite budget limitations, a parent can embark on a journey filled with fun and adventure. In many cases, parents are happy simply seeing their children happy and are willing to forgo many opportunities just to share the joy and laughter. Additionally, for those who can afford it, it’s an opportunity to shop. However, most first trips abroad are not mainly about shopping, but for the parents to share the joy the child experiences as he travels.

Ru’shon Fox is a very active, honest and straight-forward four year old. On July 27th 2013, Ru’Shon Fox took his first trip abroad. He travelled with his mother to Hollywood Florida, and met with his father and grandmother thereafter. Whilst he may not have known the difference between Hollywood, California, or Hollywood Florida, he knew he was going on a plane to “The States”. His mother, Sandra Fox, was happy to see the excitement and enthusiasm Ru’Shon showed preparing for his trip. When he arrived at the airport, he refused to accept help pulling his carry-on; despite taking short steps and short breaths as he carried his bag, he insisted he could do it. He was very friendly with the people he met, making new friends along the way. His mother described him as being very talkative throughout the trip, sharing his excitement about the planes, why he was travelling, his expectations of the trip, where he’d be staying, the place and much more. Like any parent taking a child on a plane for the first time, the child’s excitement gets you excited; you see the world through a child’s eye.  In fact, Mr. Fox was happy to know Ru’Shon was happy and fearless, as they prepared for the journey.

Ru’Shon’s trip to Florida was not one of leisure, but one of serious business; medical care. Ru’Shon was going to Florida to obtain heart surgery to correct a heart defect. As such, this trip was a happy, yet worrying one for Ru’Shon’s parents; they did not know the outcome of the surgery, but trusted God that all would be well. Mrs. Fox remembers Ru’Shon’s happiness helping her not to worry as she set out to take Ru’Shon to obtain heart surgery in Florida. Prior to travelling, Ru’Shon spoke with his pediatric cardiologist in Nassau, Dr. Jerome Lightbourne, who told him what to expect when he visited Florida for surgery. Interestingly, in his pre-surgery preparations, Ru’shon was very cooperative and kept the same level of enthusiasm he had going on and off the plane.

Five days after surgery, Ru’Shon was on his way to the movies with his parents, encouraging them to please walk up; they now needed to keep up with him and the new found energy he had. Mrs. Fox recalls the smile that came on her face, as she told him to wait for his parents. Additionally, as he returned home to Nassau, he rolled his own carry-on, with lots of energy and vitality; he did not have to stop to take breaths or take short steps. His mother was so happy, she said, “ For sure, I thought we’d make it on CNN, just for speedy recovery”.

Ru’Shon was born in August 2009 to Mrs. and Mr. Sandra and Rudolph Fox Sr. At birth, Ru’Shon was diagnosed with multiple health problems including a congenital heart defect; Rushon had bi-lateral cleft lip and palate, polycystic kidneys, a heart defect, and one leg shorter than the other.  He spent eight (8) weeks in hospital, immediately following his birth. Fortunately for Ru’shon, his cleft lip and palate were corrected. However, without heart surgery he could have died.

Ru’shon was diagnosed with was tetralogy of fallot. Tetralogy of Fallot causes low oxygen levels in the blood. This leads to cyanosis (a bluish-purple color to the skin, due to a lack of oxygen). Corrective surgery for this defect is not performed locally. The cost of this heart surgery, with negotiated fees, starts at $50,000. Ru’Shon was uninsured at birth and his parents did not have the funds to assist him; so they relied on others to help them save Ru’Shon’s life.  Thanks to the generosity of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation and donations made on his behalf, Ru’Shon was able to have heart surgery at Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital, in Hollywood Florida.

The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps to repair the hearts of children. They rely heavily upon the generosity of others to save lives. To date, they have helped over 4,000 persons. The Heart Ball Committee is the fundraising arm of The Heart Foundation. The year 2014 will mark the 50th Heart Ball. As the fund raising arm of The Heart Foundation, The Heart Ball Committee hosts two major fund raisers annually: The Annual Heart Ball (February 15, 2014) and The Annual Tea Party & Fashion Show (November 17, 2013).  The public is encouraged to participate in these events, make donations, purchase ads in The Heart Ball’s booklet, sponsor events, participate in sponsored events and volunteer their services. Donations made by US citizens are tax deductible.

In the word of Mrs. Sandra Williams-Fox:
“Help the children and The Foundation whenever possible.  On a daily basis we’re not bothered by these types of situations, and it is not until we are affected, that we start to think about others that go through this. When I look back and see where my baby came from I know he is an extra blessing from God.  His life alone is a testimony of Gods grace and mercy.”

To purchase tickets for The HBC’s Fashion Show or The Annual Heart Ball, or to find out how you can assist, please call 327-0806 thru 10.