April 18, 2021

Guyana Guardian

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‘Help me save my son’ – 5-Y-O with heart disease needs help


Three years after being diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease and congestive heart failure, five-year-old Leonard Kentolall’s health has significantly deteriorated and he now requires a heart transplant.

His mother, a boxing athlete, Rewinna David, is asking for the public’s help for the surgery to be done overseas.  The surgery can be done in Colombia, at a cost of US$40,800 (GY$8.5 million).

The five-year-old is being medically managed at the pediatric cardiology clinic at the Georgetown Public Hospital, but his condition remains critical until the surgery can be done.

“From since he was the age of one, he has been diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease and presently for the past two years, his heart has deteriorated to a point where he needs a heart transplant.

“I have not been able to raise any funds so far, so I am here pleading with the public to please assist me in saving my son’s life. He is only five years now and I don’t want to lose,” a tearful David said.

According to the John Hopkins Medicine website, rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. For little Leonard, three of his heart halves are now damaged.

Rewinna David

The mother explained that her son developed a high fever in 2018 and subsequently began experiencing swelling in his eyes and feet. David said for an entire year she took him to the Georgetown Public Hospital but the doctors were unable to diagnose him. It wasn’t until she took him to a private doctor that he was diagnosed with heart failure.

The child is now in constant pain and his liver and kidneys are also swollen, which results in difficulties breathing and urinating.  His medical condition is also affecting his growth and development.

“He is not a normal child. Most times he would lie in the bed, he do not do much walking or much playing,” David said.

The mother further explained that she believes a coronary bypass surgery will help her son until the transplant surgery can be done. However, doctors in Guyana are not recommending a bypass.

“His cardiologist, Dr Sparman-Shelto told me he is not a candidate for surgery, he needs a heart,” the mother said.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has pledged some financial assistance while the Professional Boxing Board has also donated to help save Leonard.

But it is not enough and, as such, persons willing to assist Leonard can contact +592 630 3264 or +592 692 8838 or make direct deposits to Citizens Bank Account #218 963 95.

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