Never been home - Five year old Kenrick lives in hospital
Peter Bogle, a single father, has had no choice but to raise his son in heart-breaking conditions.
"I love to give joke but this is not a joke story," Bogle said, his eyes obscured by sunglasses.
Bogle was invited to speak during the handover ceremony of equipment from the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation to the Bustamante Hospital for Children on Wednesday. His son, Kenrick, has resided inside the walls of the intensive care unit (ICU) after his birth, five years ago.
"Big boy, but cannot walk yet, and cannot speak because of the hose that is down his throat," Bogle revealed. "But I see a light at the end of the tunnel now."
Young Kenrick is preparing to travel to the United States for potentially life-changing surgery with the help of the Government, private sponsors, and other agencies.
"I have to give thanks to the staff of the Bustamante Hospital," he said "because I am the only one that is attending to this child as a parent, and I can say because of the loving and caring staff, the nurses and doctors have been a lot of fathers and mothers. I have to thank the Shaggy Foundation because I know some pieces of equipment in the ICU kept my son alive," Bogle said.
As grateful as Bogle is for the life-sustaining equipment, he believes that corporate Jamaica can do more to assist citizens like himself.
"What I would really love to see is the Shaggy Foundation have more sponsors come aboard so that patients, like my son, won't have to go overseas because it's very costly and you still have to go and ask for donations. Those donations that you send to one child, can help a lot of children," Bogle said.
Utilising a 'needs list' provided by the hospital, the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation donated approximately 300 pieces of medical equipment to the hospital. Some of the equipment include: 50 ICU cribs, 50 over-bed tables, 50 bedside lockers, 50 privacy screens, 30 stainless steel bassinets, 25 vital signs monitors, 20 youth beds, eight patient stretchers, three resuscitaires, eight medical trolleys, one operating table with neuro-surgery accessory, one operating table with orthopaedic accessory, and one defibrillator.
The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation spent more than US$500,000 (approximately $64 million) for this donation. The foundation has contributed a total of US$1.6 million so far.