This Christmas, The Caribbean Children’s
Foundation (TCCF) gave Vergina Seeram the greatest Christmas gift a
child could ask for: good health and happiness.
Vergina, 11, underwent surgery two weeks ago at the
Hospital for Sick Kids. Doctors successfully operated on the hole
found behind the glands in her neck.
The $25,000 surgery has left Vergina feeling
healthy for the first time in years. She left Vreed-en-Hoop, Guyana,
for Canada after undergoing three operations in five months.
Vergina’s parents first noticed the problem when
she was five years old, that her neck swelled on-and- off regularly.
The hole gradually released small particles of food and liquid near
her glands, causing the swelling and infections.
Her father, Devanand Seeram, said the doctors and
nurses in Guyana did everything they could to help her. But a lack of
proper medical equipment impeded them from pinpointing the problem.
Now, two weeks after Vergina’s surgery in
Toronto, she says she feels alright but misses Guyana, where her
mother, two younger brothers and her sister anticipate her arrival.
Before she can return home for Christmas, the doctors have scheduled
further blood tests for her on December 23. Vergina’s father hopes
they can catch a flight back to Guyana in time for Christmas.
Seeram said his daughter seems fine from the
outside, but he cannot be sure whether she’s fully recovered on the
inside. "She has been her normal self, walking around, playing
Nintendo and practising her math and spelling" he said.
He added, "we are all so thankful to TCCF for
everything they’ve done." Seeram said Vergina had been in and
out of school and separated from her friends for so long due to her
sickness. He hopes she will be able to lead a healthy and normal life
from now on.
The President of TCCF, Jay Brijpaul, is happy the
Foundation could successfully assist Vergina. "A guardian angel
found that precious girl," he said.
Little Vergina was TCCF’s 7th and final patient
for 2004. This number is an accomplishment compared to the three
operations they funded during the Foundation's first year, said
Brijpaul. In four years they’ve helped save 23 children.
To date, supporters of TCCF have donated a total of
$475,000. The foundation has no administrative costs, so every single
dollar has gone to saving the lives of children from the Caribbean.
When asked whether she wanted to stay in Canada,
Vergina, a very honest little girl, responded "No! I want to go
home now, I miss it."
In the next week, Vergina will be crossing her
fingers with the hope that she’ll be on a plane ride home before
Christmas so she can re-unite with her little brothers and her sister
whom she said she misses.