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#440091 - 06/08/12 02:54 PM Update on Kim SImplis Barrow
Marty Offline

Doctors say Simplis Barrow’s heart failure incurable, but manageable

Kim Simplis Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned from Miami this afternoon. He spent the last two weeks at the side of his wife Kim Simplis Barrow, who experienced complications relating to breast cancer treatment. The chemotherapy and related drugs damaged her heart which is down to fifteen percent of its strength. Radiation treatment has been discontinued and Simplis Barrow has now been released from the Baptist Hospital, but is still in Miami. News Five spoke to the Prime Minister who responded with candor to questions on her prognosis. According to the P.M., the damage is mostly incurable but the family still has hope that the situation can be managed.

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“Well she’s certainly better. She was released from the hospital on Saturday, but it’s going to be tough going forward. As you know she sustained heart failure; severe damage to the heart and that we’ve been told by the doctors is incurable. So it’s a matter of trying to manage things as best we can and as best the doctors can. But she’s feeling well enough at the moment and certainly grateful for once again the tremendous outpouring of support from people here at home. So I, of course, join her in saying a great big thank you.”

Jules Vasquez, 7 News

“And how is your family, yourself coping?”

Dean Barrow

“Alright. It’s been a rough week, but certainly once she got out the hospital and started looking and feeling much better, naturally my spirits also rose. It is always at the back of my kind and I’m sure at the front of hers that of course this is serious business—this heart failure—and the radiation for the cancer had to be discontinued because with her heart in the condition it’s in, she can’t take any more radiation. In fact the feeling is that it’s the radiation together with one of the chemotherapy drugs that caused the damage to the heart. But she’s been started on a drug called tamoxiphen to try to help to keep the cancer from occurring even as she then takes four other drugs to deal with the effort to regulate her heart. The heart failure means that the heart is not pumping blood as it should—ten to fifteen percent—and to try to compensate, the heart beats very fast resulting in tackicardia. They were able to, and there is also a fluid back up, fluid build up. They have her on diuretics and on medication that regulates the heartbeat. And as I said, the fluid seems to have gone—the fluid from around the heart and in the lungs—and certainly the rate of her heartbeat has stabilized with the medication. They will watch it for another couple of weeks and if she continues to be stable, then she can come home where I hope that Dr. Adrian Coye will take over in terms of trying to monitor her as she moves forward. The long-term prospects are not encouraging. What was indicated to us was that you manage heart failure in people of an advanced age. It’s hard to think about managing heart failure for somebody who’s forty years old; if that person expects to live a normal lifespan. So it’s rough, but she is, as usual, extremely optimistic, extremely determined, in good spirits and so it is just a matter of one day at a time.”

Channel 5


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#440096 - 06/08/12 03:02 PM Re: Update on Kim SImplis Barrow [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

PM Says Ailing Wife Suffered "Heart Failure"

Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned home today after 10 days away. As has been widely reported, he was in Miami, at his wife's bedside.

Kim Barrow was rushed to the emergency room on Monday May 28th with heart failure. She was placed in the intensive care unit for three days, and released from the hospital over the weekend.

And even though she has been stabilized, today, the Prime Minister explained that the worry about the cancer has receded into the background - because her heart has been seriously damaged. Here's how he explained the series of difficulties:..

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"It's been a rough week but certainly once she got out the hospital and started looking and feeling much better, naturally my spirits also rose, but it's going to be tough going forward. As you know she sustain heart failure - severe damage to the heart and that we've been told by the doctors is incurable, so it's a matter of trying to manage things as best we can and as best the doctors can. But she is feeling well enough at the moment and I am certainly grateful for one again the tremendous out pour of support from people here at home."

"Of course this is serious business - this heat failure and the radiation for the cancer has had to be discontinued because of her heart and the condition that it's in, she can't take anymore radiation. In fact the feeling is that it's the radiation together with one of the chemotherapy drugs Adermicina that cause the damage to the heart. But she has been started on a drug called Tamoxifen to try to help to keep the cancer from recurring even as she takes four other drugs to deal with the effort to regulate her heart."

"The heart failure means that the heart is not pumping blood as it should - 10-15% and to try to compensate the heart beats very fast resulting Tachycardia. The long term prospects are not encouraging. What was indicated to us was that we manage heart failure in people of an advance stage. It's hard to think about managing heart failure for somebody who is 40 years old, if that person expects to live the normal life span. So it's rough but she is as usual extremely optimistic, extremely determine, in good spirits and so it's just a matter of one day at a time hoping for the best."

Jules Vasquez
"When the matters of state and the matters of one's personal are both so fraught. Is there any point that you say "I don't need this, I need to take care of my wife."?"

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"If there is such a point I don't think that it has yet been reach. I believe that certainly for the moment and as far as I can see into the foreseeable future, I am able to handle both things. Being away from home this time for almost 10 days is not in the normal circumstances desirable but as I said it's so easy to communicate, it's so easy to keep in touch, it's so easy to make decisions from abroad that I don't believe that people ought to be unduly concern about the absence."

"Now, in terms of my frame of mind, well with Kim being in the ICU did throw me for a loop but that is something that after a couple of days you accustom yourself to and you try to deal with and as it turns out she is in fact release from the hospital and as I said doing very well in terms of the immediate circumstances although longer term the prospects are daunting."

"Long story short I think I fact I am sure that I am able to do the juggling act that the circumstances require right at this time and I don't expect those circumstances to continue for very much longer."

The PM says he expects some ease when his wife comes home in another two weeks - proving that she continues to be stable. And, in lieu of the chemotherapy, she is now on a new drug to keep the cancer from recurring. That is in addition to four other drugs to stabilize her heart.

As for the damage to her heart muscle, Doctors say it is reversible to a degree where she could get restored up to 30% of capacity - two to three times the current capacity.

She is presently being tended to by her mother.

Channel 7


P.M. speaks candidly about wife’s heart

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned on Thursday from Miami where his wife is recovering from heart complications related to her breast cancer treatment. On arrival, the PM spoke at length with the media at the Philip Goldson International Airport about the condition of Kim Simplis Barrow. While she has been released from the hospital, Simplis Barrow’s heart is still functioning at only ten to fifteen percent capacity and radiation therapy has been discontinued. According to the Prime Minister, while he is in Belize, his mother-in-law will be at her side. However, he said the doctors explained the difficulty of the situation that his family must now endure.

Dean Barrow

“While there is no cure for heart failure, we are told that the damage to the heart muscle—which is what the combination of the chemotherapy and the radiation caused—is possibly reversible to a degree. And the doctors are saying look; if she’s lucky and the heart function can get up from the ten to fifteen percent of capacity—where it now is—to about thirty percent; that makes things far more manageable. So that’s the hope that being young and in the normal course fairly strong; that that together with medication and time will help to at least reverse to some degree the damage which, I repeat, unfortunately can’t ever be cured. So that’s what we’re looking at.”

Jose Sanchez

“Who does she have there with her in terms of to give her support?”

Dean Barrow

“Well her mother came in on Monday. I was to come on Tuesday, but we needed to see the doctors on Tuesday and Wednesday and I wanted to know what the immediate, what the short-term prognosis would be. The chemotherapy doctor or the cancer doctor saw her yesterday morning and started her on this tamoxifen which as I said hopefully would keep the cancer at bay. The heart specialist saw her yesterday at about noon and he said that he is very pleased at home the medications are working and as I said, she looks extremely well. Still a little bit of fatigue, but the shortness of breath, the gasping for air is gone. And as I said, when they checked and did their soundings, it appears that the water is completely removed from the lungs and from around the heart. So that’s where we stand.”

It is planned that Simplis Barrow will return to Belize in the next few weeks for treatment by Doctor Adrian Coye.

Channel 5


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#440652 - 06/15/12 02:37 PM Re: Update on Kim SImplis Barrow [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Kim Barrow Still Not 100% After Heart Failure

Kim Barrow continues to recover from heart failure while battling stage three breast cancer. She is in Miami and could come home in a few weeks - but her husband, the Prime Minister says, after that she could be right off to another medical center in Houston. That's where she hopes to get specialized treatment for her heart - which was badly damaged by the breast cancer medication and chemotherapy.

The Prime Minister explains that a pair of Belizean doctors practicing in the US worked on the referral:..

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"Doctor Bernard Bulwer in Boston and Doctor Dorita Arzu in Houston have arranged for us to see a cutting edge specialist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the Texas Medical Complex in Houston. That doctors' expertise is in treating heart failure arising secondary to radiation and chemotherapy damage and we should be able to see him as early as next week."

Kim Barrow's heart is presently functioning at 10 to 15% and Doctors say the damage to the heart is largely irreversible.

Channel 7


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