Seven-year-old with hydrocephalus clings to life – Help Needed

Seven-year-old with hydrocephalus clings to life – Help Needed

My name is Khalilah Megan Campbell and I am the Coauthor of the book Foundation of The Guyana Defence Force – A Soldier of Valour Story.

With respect to the enclosed Kaieteur newspaper article, I am the Canadian representative for the family of the child Ephraim Collins, who requires urgent lifesaving surgery. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated with funding for him and his family.  The expenses not covered are the Medevac Air Ambulance and other personal expenses that are stated in the article.  In addition, Sick Kids Hospital International has requested to review his medical records for the possibility of  surgery in Canada.  The Hospital through the Herbie Foundation will pay for his medical expenses only.  

Medevac Air Ambulance is required for his transportation.  Because of his delicate condition and serious illness conventional mode of travel would be detrimental.  I am pleading for your support in helping Ephraim before it is too late.  Life is precious, this is a critical, time sensitive situation and it would be significant to have you and the community support us, so that this kid can get the lifesaving surgery he needs.

No amount is too small, if you are not comfortable giving online, there is the option for you to make a deposit to the bank account #147460848182 at any Scotia Bank. 

 My contact number is: 416-732-9390.

Below is the heartbreaking video of the family.

Video:  https://youtu.be/EAi35C72D9g

 There is a GoFundMe page.  

The link is https://www.gofundme.com/neurosurgery-medical-expenses-2vmwrck.

His mother’s name is Carlene Collins and his father’s name is Ato Collins.  We are asking the National and International Community for their support so that we can save Ephraim Collins life.

Sincerely,

Khalilah Megan Campbell

Note: The following article appeared in Kaieteur News two months ago. The funds were not forthcoming so Ms. Campbell and others are now spearheading the campaign to get him medical help in Toronto.

********

Kaieteur News Article – Oct 09, 2016 

Seven-year-old with hydrocephalus clings to life

– but life saving procedure possible in Spain

By Sharmain Grainger

Many of us believe that we were born into this world for a specific purpose. This purpose, however, is not always immediately known.
But if you ask Tucville couple, Ato and Carlene Collins, what their purpose is, they are likely to quickly tell you theirs is to see their son become a great man one day.
Their son is seven-year-old Ephraim Collins. He isn’t able to attend school nor can he speak or play as a normal seven-year-old can. In fact he simply cannot walk and relies on his parents for pretty much everything.
Ephraim suffers from severe hydrocephalus. This condition manifests with an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain.
The accumulation of fluid in Ephraim’s brain started at birth but miraculously stopped towards the end of last year. However, his head currently has a diameter of 88 centimetres. The fluid must be removed if Ephraim is to live a normal life.
Carlene recalls vividly giving birth to her only child on June 15, 2009 at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Doctors immediately recognised the defect and advised that nothing could be done to remedy it. However, Carlene recalled that a neurosurgeon at the hospital gave both she and her husband hope when he suggested the possibility of using a shunt to drain the excess fluid.
The couple’s hope was dashed when the specialist decided not to go through with the procedure since it was complicated. Complications from shunts may include over-drainage, under-drainage, mechanical failure, infection or obstruction.
An attempt to seek overseas medical care was also not promising. In fact Carlene recalled that after seeing Ephraim, a renowned neurosurgeon urged her to “‘go make another baby because this child will not live to see a year’.” At the time Ephraim was just six months old.

unnamedPhoto: Although barely able to move, Ephraim showcases his infectious smile.

But both Carlene and her husband have been relying on their faith in God and thus far they have seen their son defy the odds.
“As a believer I am thanking God for what he is going to do and I believe in God’s promise that he will heal him in the seventh year,” said a confident Carlene.
Although Ephraim, in the eyes of some medical practitioners, is essentially hanging on to life, he is still visibly full of life. His best asset is his smile which he flashes whenever he sees a friendly face and widens whenever his dad is around.
“He is not a burden to me; I live for my son…I gave birth to him and I am happy every day to wake up and take care of him. God will do the rest…” an emotional Carlene said recently.
She and her husband have long stopped trying to seek medical attention to fix Ephraim’s condition and have been taking life one day at a time.
But recently they got the surprise of their life when Ephraim caught the attention of two neurosurgeons from England. This was the doing of Ms. Jessica Hatfield. Hatfield has been the patron of the Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre situated at Ruimveldt, Georgetown for the past five years.
The visiting doctors were merely in Guyana for an expedition and accepted Hatfield’s appeal to examine the child.
Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Mr Michael Khan, helped put measures in place for Ephraim’s head to be scanned. “He very generously donated the scans…we were very grateful because without that we could not have gotten anybody interested,” said Hatfield.
The visiting neurosurgeons have since shared Ephraim’s condition with their colleagues in the field globally and a prominent surgeon has since offered to conduct the necessary procedure to help transform Ephraim into a normal boy.
The procedure, according to Hatfield, could be conducted in Spain where the neurosurgeon practises. Among the most outstanding life-saving procedures conducted by the neurosurgeon is one on a young Pakistani girl who was shot to the head simply because she wanted an education.
Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She now lives in the United States.
Hatfield said that she has hope for Ephraim because she is aware that a procedure to correct the same condition was successfully conducted on a child many years ago.  The child was an 18-month-old Indian girl whose head size spanned 94 centimetres. That Indian girl, according to Hatfield, is now a 58-year-old productive woman.
With his condition still existing, Hatfield believes that Ephraim, today, possibly has the largest head in the world.
Hatfield first learnt of Ephraim’s condition last December. She recalled that it was one of her friends who brought the child’s condition to her attention. At the time Ephraim was being carried into a little beauty salon at the Bourda Market where his mother works.  It didn’t take much to decipher that something was very wrong with the child’s head.
Hatfield has in the past given support that helped other ailing children gain medical attention. Intrigued by what she heard of Ephraim’s condition, Hatfield anxiously started to do whatever she could to help. “This child has always been expected to die but he has surpassed all expectations,” said Hatfield who is even more amazed that Ephraim’s head has stopped growing.
“I measure his head all the time and his mother too, and we are so happy that by some miracle it has stopped growing, otherwise he would be in a lot of trouble…”
Ephraim’s procedure is estimated to cost US$85,000.  This, according to Hatfield, would translate to US$70,000 for Ephraim to be medically evacuated to Spain; US$20,000 for medical fees; US$20,000 for his parents’ accommodations and US$5,000 for additional costs.
Persons desirous of finding out more about Ephraim’s condition or would like to offer financial support can do so by visiting Ephraim’s fundraising page www.youcaring.com/ephriam-collins-632656. His parents can be contacted on 683-3305.
Ephraim in the meantime is holding on for his dear life.
In fact doctors who have seen him have marvelled at his will to live.  “‘He shouldn’t be alive, he shouldn’t be able to talk’,” are but some of the remarks medical practitioners have made of Ephraim, according to Hatfield.
Hatfield herself is amazed when she considers the things Ephraim is able to do.  “He laughs, he jokes with me…he plays high five with me. If I ask him ‘Can I have the telephone?’ and he gives it to me…when I sing he ‘laughs his head off’.
He is a great little kid; he is full of personality,” said a smiling Hatfield.

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