A heart for Skye
For Racquel Bowe, the call from the Heart Foundation in late January requesting that her nine-month-old daughter Skye be the poster child for this year’s Heart Ball promotions prompted a surge of elation that she could not put in words. The mother says it was a breath of fresh air and a real honor to know that her daughter was chosen to participate in such an occasion.
Yet the exhilarating feeling was not something that Bowe and her husband, Adrian Bowe, were accustomed to when it came to Skye. Nine months prior, the couple’s whole world had been turned upside down.
It was on April 21, 2010 when the Bowes welcomed their daughter Skye into the world. This was their fourth child together. Even through their excitement and happiness, the couple couldn’t help but feel that something was not quite right with their new bundle of joy.
“When my husband and I first came to notice Skye’s condition, it was because her color didn’t look right,”said Bowe.”She was really pale. When she first came out of the hospital she had to go back to get a particular shot and do some blood work. We were told that she was fine. At the time there was nothing really to concern us until a few days later. Her color began to worsen. She got really white. My husband and I realized that something must really be wrong because her color isn’t supposed to be like that. We took her back to see a doctor that night, a Sunday night. We waited for a long time for the pediatrician to come and she told us that it was normal and not to worry.
“But we were still not satisfied so we took her to Coconut Grove Clinic and the nurse spotted her from in the corner. She had started to shake and she was crying all night long. They rushed her into the treatment room and they had to call the ambulance because we weren’t allowed to touch her anymore after that. They took her to A and E and she had a whole team waiting to take care of her. We were told that her oxygen and blood levels were low. After they finished doing an echogram on her, they found that her aorta was constricted so no oxygen or blood could properly flow through her body. And Dr. Lightbourne and Dr. Ramphal said that if she didn’t do surgery right then and there, she would’ve died that same day. So that afternoon she went into surgery for three hours to repair it.”
Bowe said since the scary experience Skye has thankfully not had to have another surgery. The happy mother said that everything seems fine now and if you see her
daughter today you wouldn’t even know she had surgery.
“But at the time, everyone wants to give birth to a healthy living baby, it was a very emotional
experience,”said Bowe.”It was scary to think that you brought this seemingly healthy baby into the world and she was going to disappear on you just like that. It was 12 days after she was born when all this happened. It was very scary. I cried for two weeks and everytime I went to the hospital, my eyes would just fill up with tears again.”
The grateful mother said that she was really happy that she only had to worry about the emotional side of the ordeal because the financial aspect of it was lifted from her and her husband.
“Thanks to Dr. Lightbourne, Dr. Ramphal, PMH and the Heart Foundation, the surgery didn’t cost my husband and I anything. That kind of operation is really costly. It’s around$200,000.”
Since then, Bowe says she has been more active in the Heart Foundation and she is willing to do anything for their cause. She encourages other persons to contribute to the organization as well because you never know when you will be in need.
“I have been a part of the Heart Foundation for three months. I did it because my baby girl had open heart surgery at 12 days old. But before then, I never really was involved. I now know how important it is to be a part of such a cause, whether you are personally affected or not,”she said.