By Norman (Leah's Father)
On Monday January 9th 2012, my wife and I received one of the worst news a parent could hear. Our last daughter Leah, at the tender age of six had been diagnosed with Leukemia. Our blood ran cold, as we were fully aware that the possibility of survival in St. Vincent was nil. Neither the technology nor the medication is readily available here.
The doctor was frank and informed us that the only chance of survival, was to get her to a hospital in Canada or America. The four days that followed were full of non-stop negotiations and sleepless nights, as we tried to source a hospital in Canada. London Health Sciences Center quoted us USD 280,000. After paying 20% and other costs including the air ambulance, I was happy that my life savings had gone to the worthy cause of saving our daughter’s precious life.
We left St. Vincent on Friday January 13th at 5pm, with stops in Puerto Rico and Fort Lauderdale before arriving in Canada.
- Leah and her mother Avril spent a year at the center, where she underwent treatment.
- After successfully completing four stages of treatment, Leah returned to St. Vincent.
- Our next journey was follow up treatment locally in Barbados. There she had lumbar punctures, every six weeks for one year, with injections of medication into the spinal column.
Leah Lives On
I was happy that my life savings had gone to the worthy cause of saving our daughter’s precious life.
Leah’s treatment was officially completed on May 1st 2014. She is required to have blood tests and physical examinations every six weeks for the first year and every three months for the second year.
The Caribbean Bone Marrow Registry provided HLA-DNA typing for Leah and her family, in the event that she may need a transplant and continues to work with the family to provide support.