Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 3rd 2016 Contents AUGUST 3-9, 2016
A a a M e as ca ght eadi g he T bag
T day e s a e i Ca de Ha , T bag , ast
ee . T c ect he ize, M e st a ith
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fice at TOMCO B i di g, P y th R ad, Sca b -
gh ( site High S e a et). C tact
225-4465 ext 6131.
When Makayla Reid was born last year,
doctors told her parents that she would not
survive for more than just a few hours due
to a birth defect.
But having just delivered her daughter three
months before her due date, her mom Maxine
Felix said she saw something in her daughter
that was more promising than the prominent
hole in her forehead.
"I never gave up on my baby and even the
following day when the doctors came back
and said she would not survive for more than
five days, I never gave up," Felix told Tobago
It is with this same determination to see
her daughter live a normal life that Maxine
turned to Tobago Today for help to access the
surgery her daughter needs to do just that ...
live a normal life.
Makayla was born with encephalocele,
which is a rare type of neural tube defect
present at birth which affects the brain. The
neural tube is a narrow channel that folds
and closes during the third and fourth weeks
of pregnancy to form the brain and spinal
cord. Encephalocele is described as a sac-like
protrusion or projection of the brain and the
membranes that cover it through opens in
the skull. It happens when the neural tube
does not close completely during pregnancy.
The result is an opening in the midline of the
upper part of the skull, in the area between
the forehead and nose, or the back of the
The exact cause of encephalocele is
unknown and there is no known way to pre-
vent the condition. Babies with the condition
stand a one in five chance at survival and only
21 per cent of babies with the condition survive
birth. Of those that are born alive, only half
Maxine says caring for Makayla has been
a difficult journey over the years.
"Because of her condition she requires spe-
cial care and attention in terms of making
sure that she remains germ free, but she is
like any other baby," the Spring Garden resident
"She laughs, she plays, she didn t have any
major developmental delays, she is curious,
bursting teeth and cooing and trying to move
around but I just have to restrict her move-
She said after the doctors realised that
Makayla was a fighter they referred her to the
neurosurgery clinic in Trinidad, but she keeps
hoping that more could be done for her daugh-
"I have to go to clinic every month in
Trinidad and one month I could not go and
when I went the following month the doctor
said when he didn t see us they thought she
had died," Maxine said.
She said about six months ago the doctors
in Trinidad said that the procedure her daugh-
ter needs in order to live a normal life can
only be done abroad and they promised to
make arrangements to have it done.
"It s going on seven months and Makayla
is going to be one year old this month and
nobody is saying anything."
Maxine said she would like the doctors to
treat with her daughter s case urgently, as it
appears that they have given up on little
"I did of bit of research on my own and I
found out that there are several treatment
methods that can be done which would not
only correct the condition but allow her to
live good life. I really don t want to believe
that after Makayla has come this far and
proven she is a fighter, they still won t go the
extra mile to help."
Contacted on the case, acting CEO of the
Tobago Regional Health Authority, Dr.
Nathaniel Duke, said, "The child has a very
difficult condition to treat. However, I will
intervene in the matter."
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary
Orville London says the recent "highly productive"
diplomatic trip to Jamaica could bring foreign invest-
ment benefits to Tobago.
London said during the trip he was able to "make some
overtures to members of the business community."
"Coming out of that, I think that we are going to have at
least one, possibly two visits from possible financiers, business
partners, who would be coming to Tobago to see what oppor-
tunities are available here for partnering with the THA,"
London told the post-Executive Council media briefing at
the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall, last week.
The Chief Secretary also gave insight into the recent diplo-
matic talks between T&T and Jamaica, saying it was an exercise
that created greater understanding between the two countries.
The T&T delegation, led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley,
paid an official visit to Jamaica for four days, on the invitation
of Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness, to discuss a
number of issues, including the recent matter of Jamaican
travellers being denied entry into this country. London said
the meetings enabled a better environment for solving issues
and he was impressed by the level of diplomacy both prime
"We cannot underrate the challenges and the repercussions
if this were not handled properly," London said.
"At the end of the exercise, there was greater understanding
and I m pragmatic enough to recognise that not all the issues
could be resolved immediately, but I think the environment
is much more favourable to a solution than it was before."
The T&T team also met with the business community and
other interests to assure them that any actions taken in T&T
were "not meant to undermine their rights" to operate through-
out the region.
"I think the Prime Minister and members of the Trinidad
and Tobago team were able to give the assurance that we are
going to do everything from our side to ensure that persons
coming from other countries are treated with appropriate
dignity and decorum at the point of entry," London said.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Maxine Felix, Makayla Reid and
her sister Melissa.
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