November 20, 2019
Don’t text and drive, don’t drink & drive, wear a helmet, control your hypertension and stress, may all seem like such cliché directives. Directives, often ignored until there is a collision or sudden rupture in the brain and instantly these cliché statements unfortunately become; if only he or she had or had not…
This past Saturday, November 16th, 2019, marked the official launch of The National Brain Injury Foundation. A vitally needed and desired support system for persons battling common brain associated illnesses. The event was held within Ocean Club Estates, Paradise Island in a private residence therein, elaborately lit & draped in royal blues and whites-colors in commitment of Brain Injury, butlers pacing the venue with healthy vibrant hors d’oeuvres. This momentous event bore some very distinctive faces in medicine such as Pediatric Surgeon; Dr. Ashani Knowles, Founder of both The Meridian School & Windsor School at Albany and Old Fort; Mrs. Lisa McCartney, Dr. Richard Demeritte; Auditor General, Jason McCarroll of McCarroll Realty and Gandhi Pinder-Owner of Sapodilla and Bamboo Shack restaurants just to name a few. Corporate Bahamas was well represented in support of yet another noble milestone in Bahamian History. A Jazzy and lively affair, bearing dancing, libations and astounding support for a great cause.
Stephan Davis, Iconic Bahamian Artist, provided live painting as a special feature at the event, with the final piece showcasing a woman of color yet in black and white with a colorful afro dripping onto her shoulders. Titled, “Beauty is nothing without Brains”, the painting once complete, entered a silent auction whose proceeds would be the first of many credits to the Foundation and its goals. The successful bidder; Dr. Kevin Bowe, Medical Director of Colina Insurance and Walk in Clinics, was awarded the piece by The Foundations Founders alongside “Stephan Legend” himself. There were also onsite donations provided in addition to pledges.
While Cancer prevails as the topmost sponsored illness in the Bahamas, with Aids and Cardiac Disease trending closely behind, this leaves a grave lack of support for key, widespread illnesses that effect the brain like Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or strokes. The foundation is principally founded by Professor Dr. Magnus Ekedede who is notably a world-renowned Neurosurgeon whose accolades include: performing the first ever Lobectomy in the Bahamas and first to perform Brain and Spine Surgery in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Also, in attendance were Co-Founders and Trustees: Drs. Melissa Evans, Rebecca Ekedede, and Mitchell who promises that the foundation will be a strong financial backbone for persons affected by Brain damage be it traumatic or acquired cases. Principally the Foundation’s core aspirations is the forming of an International Rehabilitation Centre that will allow patients not only state of the art equipment but the opportunity to return to their absolute best pre-disease state.
The brain controls every single element within the body, entering this space then, is not only costly but comes with a significant level of risk and is heavily on par in both cost and likeness to open heart surgery. Most individuals cannot afford the care, ranging easily at about $400,000 plus per year to recover and requires a variety of variables such as the money and or great insurance, the right doctors and medical team, specialized rehabilitation and a family of emotional support in order to fully recover. Without these core variables, many find themselves seriously disabled or dead.
The Foundation’s primary vision is to bring awareness to the general public in methods of prevention and to establish a community of support for those who suffer from traumatic brain and spinal injuries inclusive of Mental Health issues and lastly, to keep Brain Injury awareness current and in the forefront of National conversation.
It is certain that everyone in the world has been or has had a family member affected in some way by a brain disease. Some of the more common are ALS, Alzheimer ’s Disease, Parkinson’s, Dementia or Memory Loss, Autism and Neurodevelopmental related disorders, Seizure Disorders, Chronic Headaches, Sleep Disorders, Stroke and Vascular Diseases, Brain & Spine Trauma caused by an accident of some kind, MS & Autoimmune Diseases, Brain Tumors and or Mental Illness. Hearing them and identifying with them sometimes make persons go…” I didn’t realize that was a brain disorder”, but they are all in some way connected to the functionality of the Brain. There are even cases of brain illness brought on by non-compliance to prescribed medication(s).
Both Dr. Ekedede and Dr. Evans offered their gratitude to those that attended and expressed the heartbreaking reality of having to watch as a patients lie helpless, battling brain illnesses and injury knowing they have no insurance or money to facilitate their health management and rehabilitation. This is what inspired the initial conversation of the National Brain Injury Foundation. There were many in the audience who were able to, from personal experiences, speak to stories of loved ones passing in the fight of a brain injury and disease. Mr. Andrae Evans - a trustee of the foundation and a speaker was an actual survivor; He was completely open about having had the very best emotional support, financial backing and health care possible but still is challenged daily. Attendees were reminded of the many ways they can make a difference and to help defeat brain injury and disease locally.
Persons are welcomed to make a one-time gift or establish a recurring gift of weekly or monthly support. Donations are accepted online at www.nbifbahamas.com. Others may choose to make a check payable to The National Brain Injury Foundation whose physical offices are located at #52 East Bay St. Nassau.
Other methods of support include the provision of stocks or securities. To make any of these pledges interested patrons may email NBIFBahamas@gmail.com or call us at (242) 326-0171 or (242)557-3146.