In the early morning hours of Saturday February 8, 2014, two Spartan medical students were walking alongside the St. Jude Highway in Vieux Fort, where the school is located.
Both students were suddenly struck by a speeding vehicle that ran off the road. One of the two students named Omotayo “Tayo” Morrison, a Canadian citizen, suffered severe traumatic brain injuries to which he succumbed later that day at St. Jude Hospital.
A traumatic brain injury can occur in any accident where there is a heavy impact to the head, like a car or motor cycle accident, or falling from a high level, etc. Injuries resulting from such impacts can be fatal just like in the case of Tayo. But Neurosurgery, if readily available can help save lives of many of these victims.
Neurosurgery can also be used to treat many other brain and spinal cord conditions such as tumours, aneurysm, and some cases of stroke, etc. St. Lucia now has a Neurosurgeon but does not have a Neurosurgical facility where such operations can be done and the patients taken care of after such delicate operations. Therefore patients in need of such care will have to be flown out of St. Lucia to Martinique or another country.
Following the death of Tayo, his parents, and Spartan Health Sciences University officials decided to form a foundation not only in memory of Tayo, but rather a foundation that will see to it that victims of Traumatic brain injury or with other brain conditions requiring surgery have a fighting chance to survive in St. Lucia.
Tayo’s parents requested that the foundation be dedicated to raising funds to see the establishment of a dedicated Neurosurgical Unit at St Jude’s Hospital, as well as to promote and support all efforts to reduce reckless driving in St. Lucia, so that another mother and father do not lose their child the way they did. The overwhelming majority of St. Lucians agree that it is about time that a well-equipped neurosurgical unit be available in St Lucia to facilitate the treatment of such conditions.
Furthermore, the wider Caribbean community depends on the islands working together for mutual development. Currently there are few places with such a unit. “St Lucia could represent a key player in international medical provision, diversifying the economy and boosting jobs on the island”, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Alva Baptiste, said of this initiative.
The Spartan cause, known to us as the Omotayo Morrison Neurosurgical Foundation (OMNF) is designed to meet the needs of a fully equipped and maintained neurosurgical ward at St Jude’s Hospital in Vieux Fort. This unit will be able to provide pre and post operative care to patients seeking almost any kind of neurological or neurosurgical care.
The aim of the OMNF is also to attract St Lucian physicians who have specialised in Neurology and Neurosurgery as well as experts from all over the world to deliver quality and modern care to the people of St Lucia as well as the Caribbean. A well-equipped unit will make this dream possible.
This initiative is likely to cost in the region of Ten million E.C. dollars as state of the art equipment like CT and MRI systems, a fully functional operating theatre, a recovery ward, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a world class medical team will be needed. Tayo’s parents have already begun the fundraising initiatives in his native Canada. The goal in Canada is to raise Two million Canadian dollars.
We are pleading that your company or business and all businesses in St. Lucia, as well as every St. Lucian citizen here at home and overseas, and alien residents in St. Lucia to make a pledge to donate monthly to this foundation. Any amount you can afford to contribute monthly is welcome.
We plan to run this fundraising campaign for a period of one year starting from Saturday June 21, 2014, from 6 p.m., when the Grand Launching will take place at the Spartan University grounds, with an International buffet dinner and entertainment event known as the TASTE OF SPARTAN. This event is organized by the students and staff of Spartan University. The event will be the first fundraiser and it will be hosted by the Foundation Committee Members, which comprises of students and faculty members.
All monthly donations can be made directly to the Bank of Nova Scotia.
Account Name: Omotayo Morrison Neurosurgical Foundation
There will be a quarterly report made public via news papers and TV. This report will contain:
1. The amount of money raised for that quarter
2. The total amount donated by businesses
3. The total amount raised by individual donations
There will also be an acknowledgment of all Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze donors for the quarter. The names of all Donors will be collected and stored in a database as we intend to acknowledge at the end of the fundraising period every single donor with a donor card showing their contribution to the foundation and the establishment of the St. Jude Neurosurgical Unit.
On behalf of Omotayo, his family, friends and peers, thank you for taking some time to read about our vision. Thank you in advance for considering helping us go forward.