Local child needs urgent medical assistance

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 35            September 25, 2003

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Four-year-old Elvis Hinds

A local island boy is in a desperate situation that requires immediate medical attention to save his only kidney. The community is being called upon to assist young Elvis Hinds with the money needed for him to obtain medical care available only outside of Belize.

    Four-year-old Elvis is the son of Edmund and Maria Hinds of San Pedro. A normally happy, active child, he recently began complaining of severe pain and becoming easily tired during play.

    Elvis was taken to Dr. Teresa Damera at the SP Lions Clinic. After examining the child, she recommended he be taken to Belize City for further tests. Scans and X-rays revealed that little Elvis was born with only one kidney. His radiology reports suggest moderate hydronephrosis, an abnormal enlargement of the kidney. This is suspected to be caused by a problem with the child's ureter, a duct or tube that allows urine to flow from the kidney to the bladder. This malfunction in the urinary tract is the probable cause of the boy's only kidney becoming dysfunctional. Elvis will more than likely require surgery.

    On Wednesday, September 17th, 2003, the child's parents were instructed to take Elvis to Mexico because the medical treatment required for his condition is not available in Belize. Doctors stressed that the child needs to see a nephrologist (an expert in the treatment of kidney disease and kidney failure) in Merida within the next two weeks, to prevent permanent damage to Elvis's only remaining kidney.

    The Hinds' family has issued an appeal to the community for their immediate assistance. Donations may be deposited into a special account (#20001775) set up for Elvis Hinds at the Belize Bank in San Pedro (phone: 226-2450; E-mail: bblso@belizebank.com). The little boy's family and friends raised nearly $500 at a barbecue held last Sunday and the San Pedro Lions Club has provided $300, but approximately $5,000 is needed for the operation alone.

    The kidneys perform the vital function of filtering waste products from the blood. If allowed to accumulate, the waste products would be toxic to the human body. Blood is filtered through the kidney and waste products are filtered out and excreted into the urine. Renal failure occurs when the kidney has lost the ability to filter wastes, excrete urine, and conserve electrolytes.

    Any process that acutely compromises kidney blood flow can cause renal failure. A sudden decline in kidney function is known as acute renal failure. Humans are blessed with a surplus of kidney function. Symptoms of kidney failure will not start until at least 90% of the total kidney function is lost. Aggressive treatment of the underlying problem can often be met with full or partial return of kidney function.

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