Pastor needs help with heart treatment
Damion Lewis has been hospitalised for more than five weeks. He is currently in hospital receiving treatment for a heart condition.
Lewis, 42, who is a junior pastor at the Constant Spring and Whitehall Seventh-day Adventist churches. Damion was born with a severe heart condition. His sister, Tanisha Lewis, said he suffered a minor heart attack in June, and since then he has been experiencing congestive heart failure.
In August, he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart muscle, which his sister said almost took his life. Even though Damion was born with a heart condition, his recent illness took the family by surprise.
"The last time he went to the doctor for his heart was when he was 19 years old. Since June, he has had three heart problems and the last one was the worst," she said.
The family has since drained all of their life savings in a desperate attempt to save their brother. As the second of five children, Tanisha said Damion has always been there for people around him and they plan to stand by him.
"After the last attack, we almost lost him. His heart was at 10 per cent when he was at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and the East Jamaica Conference had to help us sign off some documents to get him into the Heart Institute," she said.
Tanisha described her brother as an unwavering man of God. He worked as a carpenter in his early 20s, and went back to school in his 30s so he could have a diploma to pursue his degree in theology.
"He is a very determined person. He was serious about God's work and he went to preach at a lot of churches so a lot of people know him," Tanisha said.
The family is hoping that persons whose lives Damion has touched, and those who read his story, will be moved to donate to his medical care.
Lewis has to stay in hospital until he is fully stabilised. In addition, he has to do a critical heart test tomorrow for the doctors to decide which of two major surgeries he would have to undergo.
Doctors are considering either a heart bypass or heart transplant surgery.
"We have a bill from the Heart Institute that is $1.26 million and we haven't gotten the bill from UHWI as yet, and we haven't gotten the bill from Andrews Hospital. This does not involve the cost of surgery yet," Tanisha said.
The family has established a GoFundMe account for Damion. The goal is to raise US$$25,000 (approximately J$3.4 million). Some US$1,074 (approximately J$147,500) has so far been raised.
Anyone who is willing to help Pastor Damion Lewis is asked to make donations to https://www.gofundme.com/5zp34ps. Donations can also be made at National Commercial Bank Constant Spring Account Name: Damion Lewis Savings Account number: 334402320.