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Jamaica: Uncle donates kidney to save Nephew’s life



#KINGSTON, March 5 (JIS): The year 2014 will forever be etched in the mind of Kasey Tulloch, as during his training to become a pilot, his world crumbled beneath him as a result of kidney failure, followed by a debilitating stroke. 

Photos by JIS News

             As the illness worsened for the then 20 year-old trainee, and the medication began  to drain the body of the Jamaican migrant to the United States, family members saw little hope of recovery, while a senior member of his medical team saw death as the only alternative to end young Tulloch’s suffering.

           His mother, Mitzie Cross, tells JIS News that she entered a “state of depression” after witnessing the steady deterioration of her only son.

            “When we found out that his kidneys had been shattered, he looked at me with sad eyes, and said ‘Mommy, I won’t be a pilot again’,” Miss Cross says, adding that many days she cried over her son’s health challenges.

          Miss Cross and two cousins offered their kidneys, but they were not compatible and were rejected by the doctors. 

            News of Kasey’s ordeal touched his uncle, Kirk ‘Dan’ Cross, a resident of Kitson Town in St. Catherine. On informing his sister, Mitzie, that he would give one of his kidneys to his nephew, it was brushed aside as a joke.

           The willing donor persisted, and soon his proposal was accepted. He passed medical tests and a US visitor’s visa was granted for him to travel to New York.   

            “I was overjoyed and praising God,” Miss Cross says, after getting the news that a kidney would soon be available for Kasey.

From Bahamas Ministry of Health

           When she shared the information with her son, he said, “Yes. I am tired,” she adds, noting that her son was doing dialysis three days every week, and four hours each time.

            “He (Kirk) saved Kasey’s life, and mine. I was in a dark place, and didn’t know what to do. All I could do was pray, and there came Dan,” Miss Cross told JIS News at her brother’s home in Kitson Town, where a ‘Thank You’ luncheon was held on Saturday (February 29), with family members, community persons, and members of the medical team from the New York University (NYU),  where the surgery was done.

           They also had an appreciation segment to the event at the Kitson Town Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church. 

            “It feels like a miracle. My life revolved around dialysis, making me feel hungry and drained. My life came to a standstill, I didn’t know what next,” Kasey said.

           “I was not driving. Now I drive, and work,” he noted, pointing out that technology allows kidney transplants to be done like regular surgeries.

            Asked why he gave up one of his kidneys to enable the recovery of his nephew, Mr. Cross told JIS News that two of his nephews had died in quick succession, one from drowning, and the other by gunmen,  and “I couldn’t save them”.

            “I couldn’t bury another one. It was too hard, so I had to help, and I told my sister that if anything happens to me during the surgery, they should give Kasey the two kidneys. It is all good to see my nephew driving and working again,” he said.

            Reflecting on the gesture by Kirk Cross, Administrative Nurse at NYU, Margaret Frank Bader, said “it is the greatest act of kindness that someone could express to another human being,” and it should be promoted to encourage other families and individuals to come “forward” and show love to those with similar health problems.

            For Assistant Professor of Surgery at NYU, Dr. Bruce E. Gelb, the Kasey Tulloch story is “amazing”.

           “To see someone who was so sick, he had an organ failure, and is now healthy, is truly amazing. Medicine is a very rewarding profession, but transplant surgery and taking care of transplant patients is even more special,” he said.

Photo by JIS News

            “Everyone should think about being an organ donor. When you die, they save lives. There are not enough people to donate organs, and many people need transplants. Very few who die have the right circumstances that allow them to donate organs, and thousands of people have to die natural deaths for one person to be a candidate for an organ donation. People like Kirk are heroes,” Dr. Gelb told JIS News.

            Wife of the donor, Charmaine Cross, told JIS News that her husband was determined to give his kidney, and nothing could stand in his way, or have him change his mind.

           “I wouldn’t stop him, because I wanted Kasey to get better, and today, I am happy for all of this,” she said.

            Sister, Lety Cross, who stood as the “backbone” in the family during the months of worry and uncertainty, described her brother as “brave”.

           “We were all worrying what would have happened, and the waiting looked like an eternity,” she said.

            Pastor Wayne Smikle, who served at the time as Head of the Kitson Town Circuit of SDA Churches, recalled that “Kirk was a bit nervous, and I reassured him that with medicine, it was possible for people to live with one kidney”.

          “I prayed with the recipient and Dan. It is a Christian and humanitarian act to save somebody’s life, money can’t pay for the deed,” he said, while calling on other persons to follow the example and save lives.

From Bahamas Ministry of Health

            The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies kidney diseases as “silent killers, which can largely affect your quality of life”, and recommends several precautions to prevent the ailments, such as maintenance of “an ideal body weight,” and keeping high blood pressure under control.

            It also encourages appropriate levels of salt intake, healthy diets, and regular health/kidney checks, “if you have diabetes, if you have hypertension, if you are obese, and if you have a family history of kidney disease”.

JIS NEWS by Garfield L. Angus

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package



#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.


Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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