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Nov 10, 2011

Gift of Life and Awards to Rotary’s Finest

The Gift of Life is Rotary Club initiative that provides free medical assistance to needy children, primarily with heart problems. On Wednesday night at the Radisson, outstanding Rotarians were recognized for their invaluable contribution to the program. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The Rotary Club of Belize, known for its excellence in promoting community activities, held an award ceremony on Wednesday night to honor this year’s finest examples of selflessness.

Francis Woods, President, Rotary Belize

Francis Woods

“For the first time in Belize, well the youngest person in Belize was operated on A pacemaker was put in him and that young gentleman, Germain is here with us tonight.”

Doctor Adrian Coye received an award for installing a heart pacemaker on ten year old Germain Tillett.

Francis Woods

“Another special person, the doctor that put that pacemaker in—Doctor Adrian Coye is here tonight.”

Adrian Coye

Dr. Adrian Coye, Recipient of Rotary Award

“This is an operation that as part of all my training, I think it is part of something that I’ve wanted to do and why I am back home in Belize and it is just part of many more things to come. I think there are about four or five kids of the fourteen that need surgery that I should be able to do within the next six months or so here in Belize as well. And again through the generosity of your robust organization, I am sure this will be possible.  I’ve started a pacemaker program at the Karl Heusner from March and so he is the youngest. I’ve done as old as ninety-four, but he is the oldest being ten years old. Usually for this kind of patient, they have been going abroad for devices to be put in. So the big deal about this one was that we did it here at a very affordable cost—less than two thousand U.S. for the device and it’s one of the device from Medtronic which is the world leader in this type of devices.”

The Gift of Life Program, guided by Yvette Burks continues to offer help to the needy.

Yvette Burks, Rotary Gift of Life

Yvette Burks

“We finally had a child who was able to receive the procedure that he needed locally. That is a tremendous advancement in way of things for us and the more we are able to do locally of course, the better it is for our country. Having Dr. Adrian Coye return to Belize and offer services to the country is such a boon to our society. We are happy that we are able to start participating—not only with him of course—but the beauty of Dr. Coye’s situation is that he is employed at KHMH, which is where the regular guy on the street goes. And of course Rotary raises money to assist the people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to help themselves. So we are looking forward to doing more and more of this and our next project is to start doing the most simple straightforward procedures locally; even if it means bringing in some of our support groups from the states to help with it. And in fact, as we speak we are looking at about four children with fairly simple diagnosis to be done in the next couple of months here in Belize locally.”

At the Rotary ceremony, the president announced that the Yes I Can pitchman, Jim Scott, would receive the Paul Harris Award.

Francis Woods

“The presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow recognition is the Rotary Foundation way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. The way the Paul Harris works; is that the contribution is made to the foundation which it carries out its goals which I will read in a little bit. But what this person did for our club was raise over eighteen thousand dollars by himself. And this person of course is my buddy, Jim Scott—if you could stand up here while I talk about you. Last year Jim paddled in the La Ruta Maya, one hundred and fifty four miles, he rode the cross country in the name of Rotary along with Tessa Usher. Tessa rode from Cayo coming back. And Jim climbed Victoria Peak in one day and came back in one day along with Joe Garel and also raised some money for the Belize Center for Visually Impaired.”

Jim Scott, Recipient, Paul Harris Award

Jim Scott

“I’m so proud, but when you have a man back there like Dr. Coye who can fix hearts, I feel humbled because his skills are so much greater than the rest of us because he’s saving lives and taking care of our children. I accept this with great honor because it came from all of you. And you got another fundraiser coming.”

Jose Sanchez

“In terms of the Gift of Life Program, you intend to continue working along with them I’m assuming?”

Dr. Adrian Coye

“Well absolutely, my role is to help in whatever way; in being at the Karl Heusner to develop programs for heart surgery, lung cancer surgery and the pacemaker programs. And so whenever those patients do arise, the advantage of doing it at home, the parents can be with them at home and not having to travel. And there is a greater expense when you do it abroad.”

The Rotary Gift of Life program’s next children’s clinic will be January thirty-first and February first 2012. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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1 Response for “Gift of Life and Awards to Rotary’s Finest”

  1. TRIVION says:

    my mom is a belizean as well as a pacemaker pacient, she feared returning to belize due to unavailability of such medical attention. it is certianly a great advance for the people of belize.

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