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Ministry seeking compatible donor for Sheenece

Published: 
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Sheenece Jackson Photo by:KRISTIAN DE SILVA

The Ministry of Health is concerned about media reports on the request for funding from the Children’s Life Fund for 18-month-Sheenece Jackson to undergo a life-saving liver transplant abroad.

In a release yesterday, the ministry stated, “We empathise with the family at this difficult time and reassure the public that the Children’s Life Fund Authority (CLFA) is in constant contact with the parents of Sheenece Jackson as they urgently seek a relative or other volunteer who is a willing, compatible and suitable donor. It must be noted that surgery is not being denied and the CLFA will continue to work with the family as they seek an appropriate volunteer donor.”

Noting that the family has only been able to source incompatible or unsuitable donors thus far, the ministry added, “There can be increased risks associated with performing this surgery without a suitable donor. Further, hospitals have not expressed willingness to perform this procedure given the lack of a compatible, suitable donor. The CLFA continues to make every effort to find a reputable hospital which is willing to perform the surgery under these conditions.”

The ministry also reaffirmed its commitment to fairness in the provision of grants for all children who need life-saving surgery abroad and qualify under the Children’s Life Fund Act.

Sheenece’s parents, Lystra and Sheldon Jackson, have a letter from Dr Carlos Luque of the Argentina-based Foundation (Fundacion) ETHE, expressing his willingness to do the surgery using with an ABO incompatible donor. The parents are asking Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to intervene and allow Foundation ETHE to do the surgery, as Sheenece ‘s condition is deteriorating and finding a compatible donor has been very challenging thus far.

However, the CLFA said as far as it is, aware Foundation ETHE does not have any experience with liver transplants having ABO-incompatible donors.

“Again, all the cases that have been sent through this organisation have had compatible donors,” the CLFA stated in a previous statement.

Responding to claims by the parents that the CLFA has suspended its business with Foundation ETHE, the CLFA said some concerns have been raised with the institution and they are awaiting a response.

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