THE FIGHT FOR EVERY HEARTBEAT……JOINT TASK FORCE TO SAVE A HEART
Patients, parents, HBC & Heart Foundation
Cliché, though it may be, heart disease remains the number one killer of persons around the world. Typically when you hear of a fight it’s between two persons. However, the fight against heart disease is one where many are battling this disease with as many aids as possible. The aids include, doctor’s nurses, hospitals, support staff, family support, volunteers, support groups, prayers and necessary financial resources. For many, in particular children, a lack of financial support for heart care can lead to immediate death. Recently, some parents and children joined forces with The Heart Ball Committee and The Heart Foundation, in both Nassau and Grand Bahama to take a stand against heart disease in children and fight for the life of a child. They also took a stand to show their appreciation for the kindness afforded them and their families, in an effort to encourage others to join them.
For over fifty years, The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation has helped to repair the hearts of persons in The Bahamas. Over 4,000 persons have benefitted from the generosity of The Heart Foundation. However, it could not be done without the aid of The Heart Ball Committee. The Heart Ball Committee is a committee of volunteers who annually plan and host the Heart Ball, to help to raise funds to repair the arts of other, mainly children. The year 2104 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Annual Heart Ball. The Annual Heart Ball has served as the main fundraiser to aid The Heart Foundation for 50 years. It is the hope of the Committee, that together with the public’s assistance, they will host many more Heart Balls.
Altonese Saunders with her mother Roselyn Saunders
One of the parents present was Ms. Roselyn Saunders, the mother of 1 year old, Altonese Saunders- Rolle. Altonese was diagnosed with holes in her heart. The technical terms for what she had are : a PDA (Patent Ductus Arterious) and VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect). She was put on medication to treat the condition, in hopes that the body would repair itself. She was also referred to the pediatric clinic at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Due to the fact that Altonese’ body was not self-correcting, she needed surgery to treat the two problems, if she was to live. Ms. Saunders did not have resources on hand for Altonese to have corrective surgery locally or abroad. Thanks to the generosity of The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, Altonese was able to have surgery in March of 2013 at Princess Margaret Hospital for the PDA. She was then referred to Joe Dimaggio’s Children Hospital to have a procedure done to correct the VSD, in September 2013.
In the words of Ms. Saunders’ who is very grateful to see her baby very happy and moving around, as if nothing was ever wrong:
“I am so thankful that there is a foundation such as The Heart Foundation; without them, my baby would not have gotten the help that she did. I could not find that money she would have needed for the surgery. I would like to encourage the public to help the Heart Foundation and its members with the work that they are doing for our kids. To the public – the money all goes towards the kids”.
Freeport parents & children.
The 50th Annual Heart Ball will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Melia Nassau Beach, formerly known as Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort. Tickets for regular seating is $250 per persons. Platinum seating is also available. The proceeds of this event will help to repair the hearts of children, like Altonese, who are diagnosed at birth with heart disease.
To purchase tickets for the 50th Annual Heart Ball, to make a donation, purchase an ad in the commemorative booklet, please call 327-0806.