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Brother Sister Kidney Donor transplant team say they never felt better – Praise Cleveland Clinic Florida



#Bahamas, March 11, 2021 – Tamika Roberts knows the meaning of true, brotherly love. She gave her baby brother the best present any sister could: a kidney that saved his life.

The transplant surgery took place at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Weston Hospital two years ago. Today, Tamika, 45, and Antonio, 42, both say they are not just fit – they are the healthiest, strongest, most active they have ever been in their lives and they urge others to consider becoming organ donors.

“We were just like any sister-brother when we were young,” said Antonio. “My big sis would always look out for me,” he said.

One Saturday in May 2018, Antonio was rushed to Doctors Hospital and diagnosed with renal failure. His kidneys were literally shutting down by the hour, threatening his life. He was supposed to start dialysis immediately.

Doctors Hospital recommended a contact at Cleveland Clinic, and by Monday, Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital got him tested and approved as an organ transplant candidate and began the search. That search ended when sister, Tamika, turned out to be a perfect match. Tamika found out in May and prepared to have surgery in June.

Tamika did everything in her will to prepare for the kidney transplant which included postponing her fibroid surgery. After going through a series of tests she was ready. She met with Dr. Diego Reino, a transplant surgery specialist, and his team who were hands-on from start to finish.

Tamika and Antonio arrived at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital at 5am on June 27, 2018 to have their surgeries. She was the first to go into the operating room because her kidney was being removed. Antonio’s surgery would follow immediately after.

“When I went into surgery, the anesthesiologist was very nice and conversation with her gave me much comfort,” said Tamika. “I woke up around 3pm in a lot of pain, but it all turned out pretty well. The doctors were very accommodating and I was out the next day.”

Tamika noted that hours after her surgery, she had to get up and walk a few steps which was extremely difficult. During her recovery, she transitioned from walking one to three miles daily to eventually running again.

The siblings had a few follow-up visits at the six-month, one-year and two-year marks post-surgery; the latter milestone reached in June 2020 with a visit at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital.

“Cleveland Clinic was just awesome,” Tamika and Antonio both said, almost simultaneously. Antonio credits the teamwork and responsiveness of his doctors in Florida and at home. “They answered e-mails instantly. They returned calls. They helped every step of the way. I’d recommend Cleveland Clinic Florida to anyone.”

Tamika also credits local kidney specialist Dr. Don Diego Deveaux at Oaktree Medical for not hesitating a minute in sharing records as requested and working with the doctors and medical staff in Florida. That cooperative partnership, the Roberts believe, netted the best results, and gave Cleveland Clinic Florida a baseline against which to measure their own test results, along with a plan for long-term follow-through after surgery and rehab in the States were completed.

“It wasn’t just about the process,” Tamika said. “From testing to surgeries to eventually recovery and rehab, the doctors and medical staff stood by our side as if they were family. They made me feel like a super hero.”

Two years later, both sister and brother are enjoying life more than ever.

Tamika is the administration manager of one of the oldest and best established banks in The Bahamas. She is fit, exercises daily, runs six to eight miles three times a week, does strength training, avoids red meat and drinks 80 ounces of water a day.

Antonio is a manager at a large, retail bank. He and his wife jog every morning in the community where they live. Their 19-year-old son is now away at school, and their 15-year-old daughter is planning to go to college. Antonio thinks about how close he came to not being here for any of it and he thanks everyone who made it possible, especially Tamika.

“She’s awesome, she’s a sweetheart,” he said. “I will forever be grateful to her and Cleveland Clinic Florida. They saved my life.”

Release: DPA News

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY



#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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Bahamas News

Back to the Bush, Traditional Remedies make a Come-back



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer



You may know it as the Wild Hyssop; American blue verbena, mosquito plant, holy herb or simpler’s joy. You may even know it because of its rich purple colour or its tiny and delicate leaves and five-petaled blossoms. But what you really need to know is that Vervain has several healing properties; it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain-relieving).

Among its purported benefits, vervain is used to treat headaches, other aches and pain, insomnia, digestive dysfunction, depression and anxiety, and upper respiratory tract infections.

This means it’s perfect for the time we live in now as the coronavirus infamously attacks respiratory systems.



Neem – the tree for solving global problems grows “almost anywhere” in the lowland tropics.

So, if you don’t already have the broad-leaved evergreens in your backyard, it’s not too late to start growing it.

Every part of the Neem tree is beneficial: the bark, leaves, seed, fruit, and twigs. It has over 130 biologically active compounds that can keep viral and bacterial diseases at bay. It is also a powerful immune stimulant.

Yes, it is bitter and has a garlic, nutty aroma but that is a sign that it is good for your body but not so good if you are trying to become pregnant, according to experts on the plant.

Neem is “A” class, which means it is antiviral (inhibits the growth of viruses), antifungal (inhibits the growth of fungi), antibacterial (destroys the growth of bacteria), analgesic (provides pain relief), anti-inflammatory (reduces certain signs of inflammation, swelling or tenderness), antimicrobial (destroys the growth of microorganisms) and it is age-defying.



As everyone is in survival mode, Moringa, the survival food, which contains all the nutritional elements may be just what you need.

moringa leaf and powder capsule on a wooden background

Moringa has protein, calcium, eight of the nine essential amino acids, iron, Vitamin C and A minerals and more. The best part is that all parts of the Moringa plant have their unique health properties and you have different ways to use the plant.

Moringa leaves can be dried and grounded in powder form or as supplements. You can also use it to make an essential oil as well as a delicious drink from fresh leaves.

To improve both health, cure digestive disorders, protect your heart and cardiovascular system, reduce blood sugar levels, boost energy levels and immunity, try Moringa.



“Go home Elena, go home Elena, go boil Cerasee fi yuh belly” – This Caribbean folk song was loved more than the plant itself. But if your grandmother could not convince you enough, COVID-19 is here to remind you that your body needs to remain healthy and Cerasee can add to your body that renewed look and feel. The fruit, leaves, and seeds of the bitter melon plant have medicinal properties and are used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world. The herb is a natural detoxifier, containing vitamins A and C, as well as phosphorus and iron.

It is mostly used to make a hot beverage to calm symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, liver problems, fever, and constipation.



Miracles still happen and if you do not believe, have a nice warm tea or a cool blended drink made from the Leaf of Life. You can also enjoy the raw plant. The tall, erect, succulent perennial herb is native to Madagascar and has become naturalised in tropical and subtropical areas.

It is used as a herbal remedy to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, coughs, shortness of breath and bronchitis. The Life plant has several health and beauty benefits and the good news is, you can even have it as a houseplant.



Aloe for the hair, aloe for the skin, and aloe is also for the immune system.

The Aloe Vera plant is packed full of immune-boosting polysaccharides, just what you need now to strengthen your body and build resistance against harmful bacteria and viruses. Along with being used in cosmetics, the thick, short-stemmed plant has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans.

It also enhances insulin sensitivity and helps improve blood sugar management, so if you are diabetic, it is good to add Aloe Vera to your medicinal list.



A single papaya contains more than 200% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, another booster for your immune system.

Papaya trees are almost everywhere on the island, so you have no excuses. Moreover, the nutrition filled fruit is not only a healthy choice, it’s a tasty one too.

Add papaya to your fruit salad, scoop the raw fruit with a spoon, blend the seeds into a creamy salad dressing and don’t forget to add the green fruit to your meat pot.

As you enjoy the juiciness and freshness of the fruit, it will help your body to reduce stress, prevent cholesterol build-up, arthritis, and ageing.  The leaves are also proven to be helpful in preventing cancer.

Papaya is also one of nature’s natural contraceptives, they say.



This tall grass-like herb has a fresh, clean, lemony scent.

Lemongrass or Fever grass is commonly taken orally, applied directly to the skin, or inhaled as aromatherapy.

It contains substances that can relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and it has antioxidant properties.

A hot cup of lemongrass tea every morning can significantly improve your health.

Also, the leaves and the oil are used to make medicine. So what better way to enjoy the benefits of this herb than to grab it fresh from your backyard and enjoy the pure scent and the soothing taste?


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