Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Environment, Health, People & Places » The Joy in the Gift of Life with Rotary
Feb 8, 2023

The Joy in the Gift of Life with Rotary

A medical team from the U.S. is back in Belize to assist with providing the gift of life to the children of Belize. It’s an initiative of the Rotary Club of Belize that has saved the lives of so many little ones who have heart conditions and require medical care. Some procedures are done in the country, while other more complicated conditions require the child and a guardian to travel to the U.S. for surgery. Today, News Five visited the Lion’s Den in Belize City, where the Gift of Life Clinic is taking place. Duane Moody reports. 


Norrisa Roca

Norrisa Roca, Mother of Sherin Roca

“She started when she was a baby; she was actually two years old but before she was two years old, we found out that she was sick, but neva mi take it too serious because we mi say well dah noh nothing bad. One day she just get sick and her whole tongue get blue, blue, blue and we decided to bring her dah hospital. A hole in her heart and a valve that needed fixing. And it already been fixed, but they said some time down the road, we will need to do another surgery but I hope that it doesn’t have to be because God is good.”


Sherin Roca

Duane Moody, Reporting

Meet Sherin Roca – at two years old, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. The long-term care provided to her and all beneficiaries of the Gift of Life Program allows Sherin to visit Doctor Jeff Delaney and a team of medical professionals annually for checkups. Now twelve, she is celebrating the gift of life. Doctor Delaney has been coming to Belize for the past fifteen years, helping young people diagnosed with various heart complications. One in every hundred births is a child with heart disease.


Jeff Delaney

Dr. Jeff Delaney, Pediatric Cardiologist

“We want to help and when you have a situation where the type of medical care or the specialist that the children might need may not be as available locally, it is great to come down and lend a hand and get these skilled children seen and treated and get them the diagnosis they need to get the care they need. So in addition to holes in the heart, we see a lot of children that have a valve disease where one of the valves may be either blocked or leaked a great deal and that could put a strain on the heart and make the heart dilate and not work as well. We also can have more severe disease where the heart us not formed properly and the blood vessel connections and things may be going to the wrong chamber and those can be devastatingly bad if it is not diagnosed and treated. I’ve been coming since 2009, making annual trips for clinics like this and then coming over the last ten years or so to do procedures in country.”


The Gift of Life Program has semi-annual clinics in Belize where parents bring their young babies in – for diagnosis, checkups and in some cases, surgical procedures.


Maria Price

Maria Price, District Governor Elect, Rotary Club

“These are the doctors coming in, the medical team from Omaha. The one in August is from Tampa. We do four-day clinics. We do Dangriga, and three in Belize City for all of the rest of the country. And we normally see about seventy eighty kids.”


Dr. Jeff Delaney

“Heart disease left untreated will get worse over time. You can have a window of opportunity where something on a child might be completely fixable, but if it doesn’t get diagnosed and treated, then it can become a problem that isn’t fixable; that either can cause the child to die early or not have the same exercise capacity and ability to do the things that they want to do as if they got treated and got it taken care of.”


Some patients, especially when diagnosed late, eventually succumb to their heart condition despite all interventions. For those who are fortunate enough to receive medical intervention in time, the gift of life and the joy it brings is priceless.


Norisa Roca

“Now she is twelve years old and look how beautiful and big she is and she is a superhero, so strong. She could do anything. And I am so proud of her. And God is good because I say he had a lot to do with us in our lives. I am so happy for her because it’s been ten years. Every time, we come here and every time they show us a lot of love and she is super excited and we are so glad.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed