Evac kits for families of kids needing overseas care

| 09/08/2019
CNS Local Life
(L-R) Cayman Islands Hospital neonatal and paediatric staff Sue Doak and Kerry Bennett-Reed receive evacuation kits from Rich and Maya Lewis, and Lamar Haynes of BritCay

(CNS Local Life): This month will mark the launch of an initiative to assist families of sick babies and children being evacuated to seek urgent medical care overseas. Evacuation kits will be provided through the Leo’s Legacy initiative to the parents or guardians of evacuees in order to provide practical help and support in their time of need.

The kits were designed by Rich and Maya Lewis, whose son Leo was evacuated when he was just three days old, to give families access to medical resources unavailable in the Cayman Islands. Drawing on their own experiences, the items in the pack have been curated to make an ordeal that no parent ever wants to endure, that little bit easier to cope with, stated a press release.

“Finding out that your child is so sick that you need to leave the country in a matter of hours is incredibly upsetting. It’s a situation no parent ever wants to find themselves in,” Maya Lewis explained. “In a short space of time you have to pack and think of everything you might need to live in another country for an undefined period of time. It’s terrifying.”

With that in mind, the kit contains some basic essentials, as well as a packing list and a handwritten letter of support from the founders. “We just want people to know that they’re not alone, to stay strong and that we understand what they’re going through,” she added.

The couple applauded British Caymanian Insurance Company Limited (BritCay) for ensuring that their own evacuation process went smoothly. “We were pretty confident that our policy would cover all of the costs of the evacuation and Leo would be able to get the medical help he needed, at one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals in Miami,” Lewis said.

In addition, Leo’s parents said they were thrilled to have partnered with BritCay to offer the evacuation kits.

“When we heard Rich and Maya’s story we were immediately moved to assist,” said Lamar Haynes, BritCay health manager. “This is a wonderful initiative and we’re happy to put our support behind it. While no parent wishes to face what Maya and Rich did, we hope this will help remove some of the stress involved for those who unavoidably find that they need evacuation services.”

The packs will be available to all families of babies and infants facing evacuation from the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Paediatric Unit starting this month, regardless of insurer. The kits will contain a handwritten card from Leo’s parents; a packing list; a USB charging extension cord; a notepad and pens; basic toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and face wipes); $100 Uber eats voucher; water bottle; granola bars and a tote bag.

CNS news is free to read but not free to produce. Please consider supporting independent journalism in the Cayman Islands.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Local News, Medical and Health

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    How many kids are evacuated from Cayman annually? Would contents of the kit ever used or they would go straight to trash leaving a huge carbon footprint? Just look at the size of the nearly empty box.
    Save environment, don’t produce useless products! Nobody needs another water bottle, granola bar and plastic things. Hospitals everywhere provide such kits for its patients and it goes to trash unused. Been there done that. At least I use plastic hospital water jars to water my plants and store kitchen utensils.

    • Anon says:

      You are a d***!! What this couple have done, is taken a heart wrenching situation that happened to them and rather than dwelling on their loss and being negative about everything, have turned round and put their positive energy into helping others who might find themselves in a similar situation. This is a couple who believe in positive energy rather than the negative BS that you spew.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think that my comment is “the negative BS “. At first, I thought that the box contained life saving devices, not disposable junk. For starters, where one is supposed to put HUGE box? In a suitcase? It would go straight to the trash.

        This is the case when poor execution outweighs good intentions. No need to be offended.

        Maybe giving the voucher would have sufficed?

        • Anonymous says:

          I dont even know where to begin with this…lets start with…have you ever had to drop everything to evacuate your newborn child overseas? Do you think parents are thinking about what they can pack to take on a trip when their infant is clinging on to its life? Do you know what might come in handy when your arrive in Miami and sitting in a foreign hospital? Do you even have kids? Do you think that these parents, who went through a horrific experience, would put “useless products” into an evacution pack? SMH

      • Anonymous says:

        By cursing you disgrace the very people you’re trying to defend. Nothing is personal here, just an opinion that going “ green” would’ve been a better option. “Evacuation pack” name is also confusing and misleading. More like an advertising trick. Why insurance is involved here is also puzzling. The cost of the items is less than $10.

      • Anonymous says:

        @10:52 am
        Attacking your opponent is not the best way to get your message across. Besides, what is your message?
        Plastic free world starts with one person at a time. Often Environmental awareness doesn’t lead to green behavior. Costs (including environmental) and benefits are not taken into account. Emotions often prevail over common sense.
        People often do not consider alternatives to their customary way of doing things.

        6:35 comment has not insulted or offended anyone. It looks at the initiative from a different angle.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re an absolute imbecile. I sincerity hope you never have to have a seriously ill child evacuated from Cayman. I think what these people have done is an amazing thing, maybe you should focus on doing something positive for other people instead of just being a moron.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, calling names really gives weight to your comment. The contents of the evacuation pack is disposable junk. If you calm down and respond, instead of reacting, you might see that.
        I was taken once, straight from the Cayman hospital, with a nurse, to Miami. Miami hospital provided basic toiletries and more. I didn’t need pens and notepads; extensions cords are available in all hospitals.
        The point of my comment was – we live it times when everyone must think about environment, pollution, carbon footprint before engaging into any junk producing initiatives.
        Please dont exploit “the heart wrenching situation this family went through”, and try to see my point. Earth, Space and Oceans are polluted to the extreme. Land, air and ocean creatures are suffering.
        Do you really think anyone really needs an evacuation pack filled with plastic? Can people “survive” without it? I think so.
        Too many charitable events in Cayman produce too much junk. It all ends up in garbage bins nearly same day.