Hope for Jeshawn - US hospital accepts 4-y-o for eye surgery

September 11, 2023

Vanessa Garrick is waiting to breathe a sigh of relief, as she ponders how to raise at least US $60,000 (approximately J$9.1 million) needed for a cornea transplant to save her four-year-old son's eyesight.

In July, she told THE STAR that Jeshawn, who has a congenital cataract in his right eye, was referred to a hospital in Canada for a third operation, after undergoing two surgeries at the Bustamante Hospital for Children to have the cataract removed. However, that operation fell through.

Garrick has been exploring possible surgeries in several territories, including Canada, which denied her attempts, the US, the United Kingdom and Italy but nothing has worked out; until now.

"His doctor referred us to seek treatment overseas as the surgery that needs to be done cannot be done in Jamaica. Johns Hopkins Hospital [in Maryland, USA] accepted him and they have given us an appointment date in February 2024," she detailed.

"Honestly, I just need all the help that I can get. I need him to do the surgery sooner than later, because maybe the sight may go in that eye, if it is not gone already. He is at risk of losing the eye," the woman pleaded.

Garrick, a St Ann resident, has been relentless in her efforts to have her son, Jeshawn, receive proper treatment. He was diagnosed with congenital cataract (clouding of the lens of the eye) when he was just eight weeks old. As she tries to get the money together, Jeshawn continues to battle daily with pain, as well as pressure and swelling in the eye, which has to be alleviated by prescribed eye drops. But the doctors cautioned Garrick that his condition may get worse if he continues on the medication for prolonged periods, stressing the urgency of the operation.

Garrick is hoping that this upcoming surgery will be successful.

"I am overwhelmed and stressed because this is something he really needs and it is a lot of money. It is taking a toll on my health, because two weeks ago my pressure was high and there are days when I feel nervous and my body is under stress, I can feel it. As the mother, who is dealing with everything, it is hard and it is a lot. He cannot lose this eye," she told THE STAR.

Garrick has been trying to raise funds via GoFundMe ( https://gofund.me/5232afb2) to assist in getting medical care for her son. So far, US$1982 (approximately $308,000) has been raised.

Other News Stories