Family seeks help to fund bone marrow transplant for 7-Y-O
A Trinidadian-based Guyanese family is seeking the public’s help to fund a bone marrow transplant for their seven-year-old daughter, which needs to be done in Italy.
Joanna Brathwaite was diagnosed with Beta Thalassemia Major –an inherited blood disorder –in August 2013, however, it was only in March 2019 that her parents were granted approval by the hospital to move ahead with the surgery.
The severe blood disorder reduces the production of haemoglobin which contains protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body.
The family worked with the Chaemotologist in Trinidad to determine who can be a suitable match and it was subsequently found that both of her parents can be donors.
Joanna’s father, Jason Brathwaite told the News Room he resides in San Raphael, East Trinidad where he migrated in 2008.
He stated that “currently, she needs a blood transfusion every two to four weeks, we did it yesterday, and everyday she has to get medication to remove the excess iron out of her body.”
In the past six years, Joanna has received just under 80 blood transfusions.
Mr. Brathwaite further explained that the surgery is significantly needed as “what happen with these patients is that over time, they start getting organ failures and those sort of things.”
The family needs to raise 158,000 Euros to do the surgery at the Pediatric Hospital ‘Bambino Gesu’ in Rome. An additional sum is needed to fund the family’s relocation to Italy for one year while the child undergoes treatment.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page which can be accessed here.
Donations can also be made to Joanna Andrea Bratwaithe at Citizens Bank No. 2595328 in Trinidad and Tobago and Scotia Bank No. 10032751 in Guyana.
Support is also being received from UK based blood cancer charity, ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust) and Trinidad and Tobago based Society for Inherited and Severe Blood Disorders (SISBD) in Trinidad and Tobago.
Below are letters sent to the Hospital and the response received.