Response to Guardian Article: SWRHA offers treatment abroad for sick toddler

San Fernando, February 26th 2019: The SWRHA wishes to clarify the article entitled “SWRHA offers treatment abroad for sick toddler” published today in the Trinidad Guardian, particularly the connotation that “Following the threat of a lawsuit for negligence in diagnosing three-year-old Jaydon Gilbert, who suffers from Hirschsprung’s disease, the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is offering to have him undergo corrective surgery at the Jackson Memorial Children’s Hospital in the United States.”

It should be noted that the Authority’s efforts in respect of the said child were not as a result of the allegation of negligence (which is vehemently denied) but as a means of ensuring that the child is afforded access to all available resources. Indeed, the Paediatric team has gone above and beyond for this patient and will continue so to do. The Hope of a Miracle Foundation is independent of the Authority and their decision to fund the patient’s visit to the Jackson Memorial Children’s Hospital in the United States should in no way be construed as an acceptance of liability by the Authority.

Hirschsprung’s disease is a condition that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes problems with passing stool. The condition is present at birth (congenital) as a result of missing nerve (ganglion) cell in the muscles of the baby’s colon. The disease may affect a variable length or site of the large intestine.  The Authority has been treating patients with Hirschsprung for a number of years and continues to do so with successful results. 

It is unfortunate that Ms Gilbert has adopted this course of action and that the option of speaking with us was not explored prior to sparse details being published.  Nonetheless, we remain committed to acting at all times in the best interest of our patients and to ensure that all of our patients receive the best possible health care.