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Appeal for St Vincent toddler in need of overseas treatment

TREATMENT NEEDED: Four-year-old Ariella Alexander

THE FAMILY of a toddler plagued by a kidney disease are appealing to the international community for support in raising much-needed funds to get the four-year-old medical treatment.

Ariella Alexander from St Vincent and the Grenadines suffers from a condition known as steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome which causes the kidneys to leak large amounts of protein into the urine.

The young girl, who is one half of a set of twins, is in desperate need of an ultrasound guided renal biopsy and possible immunosuppressive therapy which comes at a cost of £2,470.

Areilla’s treatment is tragically not available on her home island and would require her to travel to Trinidad and Tobago with the hopes of improving her standard of living.


HEALTHIER TIMES: Ariella with her twin sister

Her condition means that the four-year-old suffers from swelling, infections, urine changes and sometimes blood clots.

Don Brown, managing director of Caribbean Aid CiC, who have been campaigning on behalf of the Alexander family told The Voice: “We’ve been informed that the medication Ariella is on is not actually good for her to be on for a prolonged period so she does need to get the treatment as soon as possible.

"You can see the difference between her and her twin sister, and knowing the kind of little girl she was before the illness really does make me emotional.”

The UK-based organisation aims to provide practical and financial support to children permanently residing within the Caribbean in need of specialist medical treatment.

Discussing the situation of healthcare and the financial challenges families face, the campaigner expressed disappointment at the slow pace of progress and inability to raise the funds needed.

“It’s really frustrating that it’s taking so long to raise the finances because it is not a lot of money. Things are bad and they’re not going to get any better.

"There are people such as myself and other organisations fighting but it’s a situation where people just see the beauty and they speak about the beauty but there’s a blind-spot and not enough information highlighting what is actually taking place in healthcare in the Caribbean.”

According to a new study from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Inter-American Development Bank, the health care systems of six Latin American and Caribbean countries have made substantial progress toward universal coverage — providing free or subsidized healthcare to the majority of their populations — but continue to face challenges managing more complex health needs such as those related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke and depression.

Presently Ariella’s appeal has raised just under half of the target of £2,470 with each day more and more crucial to ensuring a better future.

Brown explained: “This treatment will address the situation of the kidney leaking fluid, once she’s had the treatment we will also know a lot more about what is going on.”

To learn more about Ariella’s Appeal please go to: www.caribbeanaid.org.uk/urgent-appeals

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