Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 1st 2017 Contents alive,” John-Ramharack said.
Originally it was intended for
John-Ramharack and Sheldon to
visit the Florida hospital just for a
consultation and then return months
later for the surgery. But the couple
had to change their
“The doctor told us
it would be stupid of
because of how crit-
ical the TAPVR was.
The doctors said if
Matthew had come
up with the two holes
alone they would have
sent him back to Trin-
idad and tell us to re-
turn in six months
and the reason they
kept him was be-
cause of the TAPVR.
The TAPVR was more critical,”
Matthew was admitted to the
“The doctors said it was a miracle
that Matthew not only survived at
birth with all these complications but
also the flight to Florida,” John-Ram-
A week before Matthew’s surgery
was scheduled his vessel started to
“Because the vessel was closing
they had to postpone a surgery that
was originally scheduled for that day
and immediate surgery was carded,”
John-Ramharack said. “That whole
day I could not stop shaking I felt
weak,” she said.
The surgery lasted about six hours.
Matthew’s chest remained open for
seven days as doctors made sure
things were in order.
But weeks after his chest was
closed Matthew’s stomach started
to swell inexplicably.
“When the surgery was finished
they thought it was successful but
they realised within the next few
weeks that Matthew was not pro-
gressing as he was supposed to and
his stomach was swelling, really dis-
tended, and they said you know what
something is not right
said. A second surgery
was carded for exactly
a month after the first.
It was expected to last
at least eight hours.
The doctors were able
to discover a leak at the
back of Matthew’s VSD.
The surgery lasted only
two hours and the issue
A few days after the
second surgery Matthew
was given a clean bill of health, was
discharged from the hospital and al-
lowed to return home. He celebrated
his first Christmas with his parents
and sister, Gabrielle, last Sunday.
call 225-4465 Exts 2032, 2033 or email us at email@example.com
Sunday, January 1, 2017 guardian.co.tt
...parents rack up US$2M bill for heart surgeries
Matthew the miracle baby
The battle is not over for the
Ramharack family though. To
date Matthew’s medical expens-
es are US$2 million.
John-Ramharack said her in-
surance company has covered
John-Ramharack said her em-
ployers BPTT as well as family
and friends have provided tre-
mendous support to her during
this period. BPTT has had various
initiatives to raise funds.
Anyone willing to assist Mat-
thew can donate via PayPal on
the website or via Direct Depos-
it—Account # 510017869631 at
Republic Bank Limited.
t seven months old, Mat-
thew Ramharack has al-
ready had two open heart
But looking at him you will never
imagine all that he has been through.
“Matthew is a miracle,” his moth-
er Ayanna John-Ramharack told the
Sunday Guardian in a recent interview.
Today, the Sunday Guardian tells the
story of baby Matthew. John-Ram-
harack and her husband, Sheldon, had
their first child, Gabrielle, some three
When John-Ramharack found out
she was pregnant with her second
child, Sheldon had a dream that it
would be a boy and that they should
name him Matthew. The origin of the
name Matthew is Hebrew and it means
“the gift of God.” John-Ramharack said
she has no doubt that her son was in-
deed a gift from God.
Around the 33rd week of pregnancy
when John-Ramharack went to do a
routine ultrasound, she found out that
something was wrong with Matthew’s
heart. John-Ramharack got the news
the day before her baby shower.
She visited paediatric cardiologist Dr
Diane Alexander to find out what was
wrong with her unborn son’s heart.
Alexander told John-Ramharack
she would only know exactly what was
wrong with Matthew’s heart when he
Initially John-Ramharack intend-
ed to give birth to Matthew naturally
but with the defect in his heart doc-
tors advised that she have a caesarean
section.The c-section was carded for
Unknowing to doctors, May 24 was
the day that Matthew’s aunt, Sheldon’s
sister, Shelly-Ann Ramharack-Joseph
Ramharack-Joseph died in a car
crash in April 2010.
John-Ramharack saw the scheduled
date as a good omen.
When Matthew was born Dr Al-
exander confirmed that he had two
holes in his heart, an Atrial Septal
Defect (ASD) and a Ventricular Septal
Surgery needed to be done but it
could not be done in this country,
Alexander told John-Ramharack.
Two days before Matthew turned
seven weeks he was on a flight to Joe
DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Flor-
ida. When the Dr Chan Kak-Chen at
the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospi-
tal checked Matthew he realised that
things were worse than expected.
More critical than the two holes in
his heart, Matthew had what is called
an unobstructed Total Anomalous
Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR).
TAPVR is a rare congenital malforma-
tion in which all four pulmonary veins
do not connect normally to the left
“This doctor has nearly 30 years
experience and he said it is only the
second time he had seen something
like this. He said this child is a miracle.
He said it is a miracle that this child is
Ayanna John-Ramharack with her son Matthew.
Sheldon Ramharack with son Matthew.
More critical than
the two holes in
his heart, Matthew
had what is called
is a rare congenital
in which all four
do not connect
normally to the
Links Archive December 31st 2016 January 2nd 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page